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Organizations are constantly seeking a cybersecurity and compliance framework that combines user-friendliness with comprehensiveness. The National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF) perfectly aligns with these requirements through its robust five-step approach. On August 8, 2023, NIST reached a new milestone with the release of the first public draft of NIST CSF 2.0. This transition represents a significant leap forward, offering a more comprehensive and flexible approach to managing cybersecurity risks.

A major notable aspect of this transition is the integration of an innovative sixth function, ‘Govern’. This enhancement empowers enterprises to proactively address cybersecurity concerns, aligning seamlessly with their overarching enterprise risk management strategy.

The primary objective of CSF version 2.0 is to enhance clarity, maintain a consistent level of abstraction, address the evolving landscape of technologies and the associated risks, and establish a stronger alignment with both national and international cybersecurity standards and conventions.

A key distinction in NIST CSF version 2.0 is its expanded scope. Reflecting a more comprehensive intent, NIST CSF version 2.0 extends its scope beyond critical infrastructure, encompassing organizations of all types. This marks a shift from its initial focus on U.S. critical infrastructure to a more global outlook, acknowledging its widespread adoption by organizations worldwide.

Further, this updated draft iteration now encompasses 6 Functions, 21 Categories, and 112 Subcategories, an upgrade from the earlier Version 1.1, which included 5 Functions, 23 Categories, and 108 Subcategories. Additionally, Version 2.0 is committed to ensuring that its Informative References remain current, establishing links between each Subcategory and the most recent editions of frameworks like NIST 800-53 and ISO/IEC 27001.

Let’s delve deeper into each of the points to understand how Caveonix can enable seamless implementation of the new CSF 2.0

Focuses on Governance with New ‘Govern’ Function

The newly introduced Govern function highlights the critical role of governance in cybersecurity by establishing and continuously monitoring the organization’s risk management strategy, expectations, and policies. This function’s role covers a broad spectrum of critical aspects, including the organizational context, risk management strategy, cybersecurity supply chain risk management, roles and responsibilities, policies, and oversight. This expansion brings the human, process, and technology dimensions into sharper focus across the implementation spectrum.

In line with the new Govern function, Caveonix’s integrated platform seamlessly manages compliance, security, and governance cohesively for better risk management. The platform’s adaptable, role-based dashboards are customized for different roles, allowing users to personalize their default dashboard and organize widgets to suit their requirements.

The platform comprehensively documents technical and non-technical controls, efficiently managing associated artifacts. This module supports over 45+ custom and global compliance controls, including those outlined in NIST 800-53 Rev.4/5, complete with assessment scripts provided in NIST 800-53a and NIST 800-171. It automates compliance control testing and facilitates manual control documentation using the built-in GRC module. It streamlines the audit and compliance process by:

  • Managing baseline controls and overlays.
  • Enabling ongoing authorization for both multicloud and on-premise systems.
  • Providing full audit and compliance workflow and artifact management.
  • Ensuring localized deployment and implementing segmentation compliance zones and regulatory boundaries.
  • Integrating risk scoring methodologies.

This not only aids organizations in aligning with the NIST framework but also facilitates efficient communication with stakeholders and regulatory bodies by providing a risk-oriented perspective. Furthermore, the platform automates eGRC to standardize processes, model scenarios, and enhance readiness for continuous ATO (cATO). Through this, it streamlines internal controls to address and mitigate external requirements collectively. Establishing workflows further reinforces accountability, efficiency, and compliance in the pursuit of effective risk management.

Introduces ‘Reference Tool’ to Leverage Other Technology Frameworks

CSF 2.0 has a clear objective: to assist organizations in effectively utilizing technology frameworks and standards from NIST and external sources. To realize this aim, NIST has introduced the ‘Reference Tool,‘ a resource that allows users to access CSF Core data in human and machine-readable (JSON) formats. This tool serves as a bridge to ‘Informative References,’ drawing attention to the interconnections between CSF and other relevant resources. This, in turn, simplifies the management of cybersecurity risks.

Caveonix maps all the technical controls featured in the reference tool and provides a comprehensive overview and specific details of findings aligned with each control. The controls listed in the ‘reference tool’ seamlessly align with Caveonix’s platform, enabling us to effectively implement, assess, and monitor any instances of non-compliance and security vulnerabilities across our customers’ hybrid cloud deployments.

Provides Practical Implementation Guidance

CSF 2.0 introduces dedicated “Implementation Examples” for every Subcategory, outlining practical measures organizations can adopt to meet Subcategory objectives. For instance, if a Subcategory underscores the importance of vulnerability identification, a corresponding Implementation Example could entail conducting routine vulnerability scans to uncover unpatched or misconfigured software. Further, the improved ‘Profiles’ section provides comprehensive guidance on leveraging Profiles for diverse objectives and conceptual templates to streamline organizational processes.

In sync with the implementation directives outlined in version 2.0, Caveonix presents a step-by-step approach for implementing each of the 112 subcategories within hybrid cloud deployments. Through Caveonix’s platform, customers gain the ability to:

  • Assign controls, complete with implementation examples, to multiple team members.
  • Monitor progress for each implementation effort.
  • Track implementation status.
  • Set deadlines.
  • Upload supporting evidence, comments, and pertinent information for each implementation.

Caveonix recognizes the unique requirements associated with each “profile” and aligns itself with CSF 2.0 to establish a cybersecurity risk reduction strategy that resonates with organizational goals. Through its platform, Caveonix empowers you to factor in legal and regulatory factors, industry-leading practices, and risk management priorities.

Enhances Continuous Cybersecurity and Compliance Assessment

With a focus on achieving clarity and precision, CSF has revised its cybersecurity assessment information, drawing comprehensive insights from NIST SP 800-55. Significant changes to the tiers highlight critical components such as cybersecurity governance, risk management, and third-party engagement considerations. A vital inclusion involves the emphasis on the concept of continuous improvement. In response, a new ‘Improvement’ Category has been seamlessly integrated within the ‘Identify’ Function, highlighting the importance of regularly enhancing strategies.

Caveonix leverages AI-driven continuous monitoring, assessment, and prioritized remediation, enhancing real-time visibility and accelerating response times. This dynamic approach creates a quick feedback loop, assisting organizations in enhancing governance and fostering innovation, therefore improving the goal.

In conclusion, NIST CSF 2.0 represents a significant advancement in cybersecurity frameworks, addressing evolving technology and risk. The addition of the ‘Govern’ function bridges a crucial gap in ongoing cybersecurity management, making the CSF framework more comprehensive and user-friendly. The ‘Govern’ function acts as a guiding compass for cybersecurity strategy, assessing alignment with threats, application criticality, and necessary investments. It supports the enterprise’s risk management approach, emphasizing continuous, quantitative risk assessment for informed investment decisions and enhanced security control effectiveness.

With a clear vision built on Caveonix’s early and comprehensive adoption of the NIST Risk Management Framework as a fundamental part of the platform strategy and support, Caveonix had already established the governance function within the platform from an initial stage. For organizations implementing CSF 2.0, Caveonix provides a straightforward approach that covers all aspects, including identification, protection, detection, response, and recovery. Furthermore, organizations can leverage the pre-existing governance function within the Caveonix platform, complete with a dashboard that facilitates quantitative and continuous risk analysis.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog, where we’ll delve deeper into the “Govern” function.

Learn how Caveonix can assist you in achieving seamless alignment with NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 for enhanced efficiency.

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Learn how Caveonix can assist you in achieving seamless alignment with NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 for enhanced efficiency.