Benefits of a NIST Cybersecurity Framework Risk Assessment


July 11, 2022

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released the cybersecurity framework risk assessment in 2014. It is an impressive and detailed resource that allows a wide range of industries to better manage and understand their cybersecurity efforts. Many managed IT services with a focus on IT security develop a NIST Cybersecurity Framework Risk Assessment to ensure businesses meet these standards. How can this process support your business? We’ll further define this document and describe all the benefits of implementation below. 

What is the National Institute of Standards and Technology? 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, otherwise known as NIST, is a non-regulatory government agency that promotes the advancement of industry and innovation within the United States. They do this by regularly advancing science, standards, and technology to benefit the economy and quality of life. Founded in 1901, they are one of the oldest physical science laboratories in the nation. Now, it’s a part of the U.S Department of Commerce and covers a wide range of programs, from engineering to neutron research, to cybersecurity. 

What is the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Risk Assessment?

An executive order from President Barack Obama created the NIST cyber risk assessment. The first version was published in 2014 and continues to evolve over time. It is a detailed document that outlines crucial decision points that business leaders should consider regarding cybersecurity — with information on potential risks that could pop up for your company. 

It approaches cybersecurity through data pulled by a wide variety of industries, so businesses can tailor the NIST cyber risk assessment framework to meet their specific needs. You can use it to communicate effectively with your employees, learn from other organizations on cybersecurity best practices, and discover an appropriate level of action for your business to apply for your technology’s security. 

The NIST Cyber Risk Assessment is meant to complement and not entirely replace an organization’s approach to cybersecurity. It is simply a resource created by the government with information to help you understand what is essential to do in the fight against hackers and cybersecurity threats. See the latest NIST cybersecurity framework here

The Purpose of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is one of many cybersecurity resources for developing companies, especially those focused on technology. It is a seven-step process that any business can implement to ensure its private information and devices are protected and managed. These steps ensure that your business and employees follow the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) standards and guidelines. As an organization, you can use the seven steps to highlight any risks you or your employees might inadvertently create. Here are the seven steps:

    • Prepare: NIST provides a list of activities and steps your company can perform to prepare ahead of time for any potential cybersecurity issues and privacy risks. 
    • Categorize: Learn how to categorize all your information safely and securely and how to store and send any data correctly. 
    • Select: The NIST SP 800-53 has a list of controls you select from to keep your business as secure as possible, no matter your line of work. 
    • Implement: Focus on how to implement to your entire business the options selected.
    • Assess: Once you implement your selected steps into your business, you must assess if the controls are correct and provide the results you want. 
    • Authorize: This step allows you to authorize leadership and create accountability by determining security and privacy risk within your business. 
    • Monitor: Develop a system to continually monitor your cybersecurity and any new risks that might apply to your system. 

Elements of Integris NIST Cyber Risk Assessments 

But what does the assessment entail? Integris breaks the process down the NIST framework into a simplified checklist for the assessment. It includes network reviews, policies and procedures reviews, phishing attempts reviews, and penetration testing. These are the four most common holes in cybersecurity – and NIST has explicit standard for each of these sectors. As part of our assessments, our cybersecurity experts attempt to get into your server room without identification and install a device to run security tests. 

Their success in this process is one of the first indications of your organization’s security. Other tests ensure your team is following best practices when it comes to their network, policies, and phishing identification. At the end of the assessment, Integris delivers a full report of any weaknesses we identified, complete with recommendations in how to address each while working within the NIST framework. Reports are individually catered to the unique needs of your industry and your business. Together, we create a plan of attack to keep your company safe and fully compliant. 

Benefits of the NIST Cyber Risk Assessment

    • Fully Understand Security Risks  
    • Constantly Updated Information 
    • Organize Business Priorities 
    • Proactively Identify Solutions 
    • Communicate Across Varied Businesses 
    • Select the Correct Tools 

Fully Understand Security Risks 

It can be overwhelming learning about cybersecurity and all the intricacies and updates involved in the field. However, it’s essential to keep your business safe. Miss one point or best practice, and you could expose your entire organization to detrimental cybersecurity threats. That’s what is so great about the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Risk Assessment. 

It breaks down an incredible amount of information into digestible pieces that make it easier for those who aren’t cybersecurity experts to apply it to their own business. The NIST Cyber Risk Assessment makes all companies across the United States safer and more secure, giving hackers less opportunity to steal data. 

Constantly Updated Information 

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework collects the experiences and information from thousands of cybersecurity professionals. That means the assessment constantly evolves to ensure all the information and best practices are updated as quickly as possible. No other form of research will provide you with up-to-date information like this.

Organize Business Priorities

With the information outlined in the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Risk Assessment, any business using the resource can quickly see their priorities. The framework discusses what every company should be focusing on and highlights which steps are most important and which can wait.

Proactively Identify Solutions 

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework Risk Assessment is constantly evolving with up-to-date best practices. That means there is no other resource better for proactively identifying solutions. If you are experiencing a cybersecurity issue or trying to follow best practices to prevent any potential risks, use the NIST framework. You can rest easy knowing you’ll have the most relevant insights at your fingertips. 

Communicate Across Varied Businesses 

Thousands of organizations across industries follow the NIST Cybersecurity Framework Risk Assessment. Previously, healthcare organizations might not interact with tech companies, but NIST unifies all modern businesses together with one system. Since the risk assessment collects the experiences of many types of organizations, the systems they outline works for everyone while also sharing valuable experiences everyone can learn from. 

Select the Correct Tools 

As stated in the seven-step process listed above, the NIST risk assessment outlines top-of-the-line tools for cybersecurity. It identifies essential solutions for your company, along with information on why they work and how they can help your company. Especially since the number of cybersecurity tools out there claiming to be the best option possible can be overwhelming, rely on the NIST to identify which ones are helpful. 

Receive a NIST Cyber Risk Assessment with Integris

Though the NIST Risk Assessment simplifies cybersecurity compliance, following all the outlined protocols can be complicated. That’s why many businesses across industries opt to hire managed cybersecurity services like Integris to take the steps and ensure their team follows FISMA standards and guidelines. We know exactly how to implement the seven steps outlined to safeguard your company and employees against any cybersecurity threats. We don’t cut corners, and we apply the most up-to-date best practices. Contact us to get started with managed IT support today. 


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