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NIST to Update Cybersecurity Framework

NIST to Update Cybersecurity Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a draft version of the Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) 2.0, a new version of a tool it first released in 2014 to help organizations understand, reduce, and communicate about cybersecurity risk. The draft update, which NIST has released for public comment through November 4, 2023, reflects changes in the cybersecurity landscape and makes it easier to put the CSF into practice — for all organizations. The developers plan to publish the final version of CSF 2.0 in early 2024.

The CSF provides high-level guidance, including a common language and a systematic methodology for managing cybersecurity risk across sectors and aiding communication between technical and nontechnical staff. It includes activities that can be incorporated into cybersecurity programs and tailored to meet an organization’s particular needs. In the decade since it was first published, the CSF has been downloaded more than two million times by users across more than 185 countries and has been translated into at least nine languages. The CSF 2.0 draft reflects a number of major changes, including:
  • The framework’s scope has expanded from protecting critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and power plants, to providing cybersecurity for all organizations regardless of type or size. This difference is reflected in the CSF’s official title, which has changed to “The Cybersecurity Framework,” its colloquial name, from the more limiting “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.”
  • Until now, the CSF has described the main pillars of a successful and holistic cybersecurity program using five main functions: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. To these, NIST has now added a sixth, the govern function, which covers how an organization can make and execute its own internal decisions to support its cybersecurity strategy. It emphasizes that cybersecurity is a major source of enterprise risk, ranking alongside legal, financial, and other risks as considerations for senior leadership.
  • The draft provides improved and expanded guidance on implementing the CSF, especially for creating profiles, which tailor the CSF for particular situations. The cybersecurity community has requested assistance in using it for specific economic sectors and use cases, where profiles can help. Importantly, the draft now includes implementation examples for each function’s subcategories to help organizations, especially smaller firms, to use the framework effectively.
A major goal of CSF 2.0 is to explain how organizations can leverage other technology frameworks, standards, and guidelines, from NIST and elsewhere, to implement the CSF. Bolstering this last effort will be the launch of a CSF 2.0 reference tool, which NIST plans to release in a few weeks. This online resource will allow users to browse, search, and export the CSF Core data in human-consumable and machine-readable formats. In the future, this tool will provide “Informative References” to show the relationships between the CSF and other resources to make it easier to use the framework together with other guidance to manage cybersecurity risk.
For more information on the NIST CSF 2.0, visit here.


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