As cyber-attacks continue to increase and target millions of people across Australia, organisations must be vigilant and enact the right security measures to protect themselves from risks and security incidents. In today’s cyber risk management landscape, there are various cyber security frameworks and guidelines that can assist enterprises in their risk management strategies.
However, navigating these frameworks can be a complex task for business owners and managers who may not be familiar with the intricacies of security frameworks. This simple guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the 4 most common cyber security frameworks available to Australian businesses, giving you all the foundational knowledge you need to streamline your company’s journey toward greater security and compliance.
Cyber security frameworks explained
A cyber security framework encompasses a set of practices and guidelines that organisations can follow to protect their sensitive data and IT solutions from cyber threats.
These frameworks are designed to help businesses mitigate the chances of encountering vulnerabilities within their IT infrastructure and operations. Cyber security frameworks can be aimed at a specific geographic region (such as Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR), or they can be an international standard.
Adhering to cyber risk management frameworks is a cyber security best practice, allowing organisations to better connect their critical security controls with legal regulations. The benefits of following security frameworks are as follows:
- Seamless risk management
- Guaranteed compliance
- Reduced chances of cyber security risks
- Demonstrated commitment to security for IT solutions (essential for maintaining a spotless reputation and customer trust).
On the other hand, choosing not to implement cyber security frameworks into your business can lead to the following consequences:
- Increased risk of downtime
- Recurring security incidents
- A damaged business reputation
- Unsafe digital practices .
Cyber security frameworks for Australian companies
In Australia, there are several cyber security frameworks that businesses ought to leverage for the protection of their IT solutions. The following frameworks commonly apply to Australian businesses:
1. NIST Cybersecurity Framework
Developed by America’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the NIST Cybersecurity Framework is a comprehensive set of protection guidelines designed to help businesses strengthen their cyber security postures. The NIST framework uses a set of principles to encompass the entire development, deployment, and execution of security strategies – “Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover.”
The framework does not offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, it provides a flexible approach to cyber risk management, pointing out all the ways a company can develop/maintain holistic security programs. As a business owner, when using the NIST framework, you will need to tailor the framework’s suggestions to suit your company.
2. ACSC's Essential Eight
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has developed a set of eight threat mitigation strategies known as the Essential Eight. These strategies focus on cyber risk management and reduction to ensure that a business’s IT solutions are safeguarded with foundational security practices. The Essential Eight includes measures such as application whitelisting, patching applications, and multi-factor authentication (MFA).
3. ISO 27001
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) offers organisations a framework for creating, deploying, and maintaining information security management systems (ISMS) – ISO 27001. The standard focuses on upholding the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of company information. With ISO 27001, you, your people, and your customers can feel reassured knowing that sensitive data is compliant with an international standard and has a better chance of avoiding security risks.
4. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
PCI DSS focuses on safeguarding customers’ card data when it is stored or transmitted within the business environment. So, any organisation that interacts with credit cards must follow the PCI DSS framework to ensure that its IT solutions have the appropriate security measures in place.
Some cyber risk management requirements laid out in the PCI DSS framework include:
- Network and data access monitoring
- Risk assessments to check for system weaknesses
- Data encryption
Defend your IT solutions with cyber security frameworks maintained by experts
The proper security frameworks will provide your business with all the cyber risk management solutions it needs to stay compliant and secure in today’s digitally-advanced world.
The cyber security and compliance experts at Platform 24 have the expertise and resources to help your company navigate the various frameworks and choose the right one for its needs. Not only can the Platform 24 team implement any framework effectively, but they can also monitor your business’s compliance status to guarantee that you remain within the law, no matter what.
If you are looking for cyber security-centric managed services that leverage the most innovative cyber risk management solutions, contact Platform 24 today.