As technology evolves and advances, cybercriminals are increasingly becoming more sophisticated. According to a cybercrime report, there’s a hacker attack every 39 seconds. The impact of a cyberattack on any company can be devastating, so companies need to pay serious attention to critical security controls for effective cyber defense.
The Center for Internet Security Critical Security Controls (CIS CSC) framework is designed to keep your critical data and systems on lockdown. If you’re just starting out, here are the top controls you should focus on securing immediately.
What is the CIS CSC Framework?
The Center for Internet Security Critical Security Controls (CIS CSC) are a set of actions for cyber defense that provide distinct ways to stop dangerous attacks. The CIS CSC improve collective and individual security in cyberspace by transforming threat data into actionable guidance.
The CIS CSC are effective because they are acquired from the most common attack patterns highlighted in the leading threat reports and scrutinised across a broad community of government and industry practitioners.
The Three Categories Of Security Controls
An information security program can only be effective when it includes controls from each area. The way an organization addresses risk will determine how controls are selected. Risk is unique to each organization, so the controls designed to address the risk must also be unique. Below are the three major categories of the critical security controls for effective cyber defense:
1. Operational Security
Operational security refers to your technical controls and their productiveness. Operational security includes authentication and security topologies applied to networks, applications, and systems.
2. Management Security
This is the comprehensive design of your controls, also referred to as administrative controls. Management security provides guidelines for the implementation of a secured environment.
3. Physical Security
Physical security is the protection of personnel, hardware, and data from physical threats that could cause damages. These damages can disrupt business operations and harm the confidentiality or safety of data and systems.
What are Common Controls?
Common controls are security controls that effectively support multiple information systems as a common capability. They are the foundation of a system security plan. Common controls are necessary for identification when developing your risk-based cybersecurity strategy.
Common controls help to achieve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your information system. When building your portfolio, you need to understand that common controls are a part of an organisation’s shared infrastructure.
The function and effectiveness of your common controls must be analysed based on your unique security posture. System owners need to understand who the common control provider is and how the provider manages control-related risk. System owners also need to know how to manage control changes arising from new threats or vulnerabilities.
5 Tips for Implementing Security Controls
Here are a few actions you should consider to ensure the success in implementing security controls:
- Ensure the security problem you’re solving justifies the effort necessary to implement and run it: If the security of your network system is not reflective of the effort that goes into your security control strategy and implementation, then you may need to rethink a solution.
- Include the people who will implement and manage the system from the earliest stages: Information technology technicians should be on board while implementing critical security controls for an effective cyber defense to ease the process.
- Be sure your testing is realistic: Involving your IT team will uncover network, operational, and management issues during the implementation and management of the system.
- Consider what makes sense in both the short and long term: You need to know whether you’d have to meet a compliance requirement in the next two or three months, or if you’d like to implement a control that will provide you with capabilities for years to come.
- Be sure the solution is the best fit for the organization: As a business owner or a security professional, you must ensure your company gets the best from all perspectives.
These tips would ensure you’ve tested your prospective solution properly and bring on board everyone who’ll be a part of the implementation and operation of the solution. You’re more likely to have a successful implementation process by following these tips.
Top Critical Security Controls for Effective Cyber Defense
The CIS Critical Security Controls for effective cyber defense version 6.1 are a set of 20 controls designed to help organisations protect their systems and data from cybercriminals. The 20 controls are established on the information about cyberattacks and knowledge from pen testers from U.S. government agencies. Below are the top critical security controls for effective cyber defense:
1. Inventory of authorised and unauthorised devices
Organizations need to supervise their hardware devices so they can easily identify unauthorised devices before they gain access and cause a cyber breach.
2. Secure configuration for hardware and software
There’s a need for companies to manage the security configurations of servers and workstations. Companies have to implement change control procedures to prevent malicious actors from breaching vulnerable servers and settings.
3. Continuous Vulnerability Assessments
Companies should pay attention to new information that comes in the form of continuous software updates, to identify vulnerabilities where attackers could penetrate their networks.
4. Maintenance and analysis of audit logs
Organizations have to collect and analyze event logs to investigate security accidents. There should be monitoring to the extent that there would be a swift response to security incidents.
5. Malware Defenses
Organizations need to ensure they have control over the installation of malicious codes at multiple points in the business organization. Automated tools should be available to monitor workstations and devices.
6. Data Recovery Capability
Companies should make sure that vital data and systems are backed up each week. There should be proven methods to recover data on time.
However, there are more critical security controls needed to control a complex environment where technology is constantly evolving. Organizations should frequently test their defenses to identify breaches and fix them before an attack occurs.
The Goal of Information Security
Organizations of all sizes rely on their computer networks to run their daily operations. These companies must ensure that their systems are secure to deliver their products and services to their customers. The goal of information security is to develop security policies and proffer solutions in the arena of information security. There are three main areas that information security addresses:
Information security helps in keeping sensitive information private. A good service that can be used to protect your data and prevent unauthorized access is the encryption service.
In cases where data might have been lost or compromised, mitigation and proactive measures to restrict unapproved changes will be put in place. This creates a room for consistency of data and systems.
This refers to authorised users that have free access to the networks and data needed to perform their daily tasks, always being available to resolve hardware and software problems. Alongside, an ability to maintain the systems regularly.
In an ever-evolving tech world, no data is hidden when it comes to network security breaches. Cybercriminals now adequately prepare to infiltrate and take over network systems. However, companies can mitigate these cybersecurity risks by engaging the best defense strategies for their cyber activities.
The CIS Critical Security Controls for effective cyber defense policy is beginning to transform the world of cybersecurity for many governments and private companies alike. This includes paying attention to basic controls that can effectively block the attack, and shield the company from a significant attack in the future.
RSI Security is America’s leading provider of cybersecurity advisory, assessment, risk management, auditing, and compliance services. We are just a step away from helping you monitor your networks, prevent data breaches, avoid regulatory fines, and protect your trust through cybersecurity ratings and continuous exposure detection. Contact us today and let’s work together to ensure your organization’s cyber protection.