Best Cyber Security Frameworks

An cyber security framework might be on your list of to-dos for 2021, especially given the cyber risks that exist for businesses of all sizes. But it?s challenging to research and compare all the available options, especially with the availability of individual risk management programs.

Here, we?ll look at the top three information security frameworks that cover both financial and internal data, including what you need to know about each of them.


The acronym is a mouthful, but the National Institute of Standards and Technology?s Cybersecurity Framework is a straightforward product. It?s a voluntary framework that the U.S. Department of Commerce recommends for keeping costs low while protecting critical infrastructure.

NIST CSF Features

NIST CSF aims to help organizations define, manage, and reduce cybersecurity risks. However, it does not provide a step-by-step checklist of items to complete. That?s because every organization has unique elements, including risk tolerances and implementation abilities.

Still, the CSF is a reputable framework that?s been around since 2014. Implementation for any organization can take between a few weeks and a few years, but it?s advisable to adopt the guidelines both in the IT department and throughout the entire company.

NIST CSF Components

CSF includes three main components- a Core, Implementation Tiers, and Profiles. The user-friendly language helps with adaptation, and there are informational videos and other resources such as implementation guides, case studies, and example profiles for corporation use.

CIS Controls

Another top choice is the Center for Internet Security Critical Security Controls framework. This set of actions helps protect internal data from cyber-attacks. The list of Controls aid cyber defense through actionable ways to prevent and fight back against data attacks.

CIS Controls Features

CIS follows seven key principles through the development of the framework, which include consistency and simplification, alignment with other frameworks, and accounting for changes and improvements as new technology and threats emerge. The alignment with other frameworks also makes the CIS a user-friendly option.

CIS Controls Components

20 Controls make up the actionable items list from the CIS, and you can also use them alongside the NIST CSF framework. These include Controls like Inventory and Control of Software Assets, Malware Defenses and Data Recovery Capabilities, Application Software Security, and Incident Response and Management.

Resources including blog posts, white papers, webinars, and more help organizations with implementation.

ISO/IEC 27001/27002 (ISO)

With multiple standards in each ?family,? the International Organization for Standardization offers clear systems for managing data. All standards cover information assets like financial details, intellectual property, employee details, and third-party information.

ISO/IEC 27001 Features

ISO not only maintains information security frameworks, but it also covers other frameworks like food safety management and environmental management. Clearly, they?re familiar with developing and implementing systems that not only offer standardization but protection within corporations of all sizes and types.

Updates to the frameworks mean there are multiple versions available, but the ISO/IEC 27000:2018 is 2021?s current edition. Unlike the other two top-ranking frameworks, ISO frameworks are not free, however. That said, it?s still an accessible framework that countless organizations depend on.

ISO/IEC 27001 Components

Though access to the ISO frameworks requires a purchase, there are free previews available. Purchases come in paper, PDF, ePub, and other formats, and include components like the process approach, terms and definitions, critical success factors, sector-specific guidelines, and more.


Although factors such as company size, industry sector, and other organization details are critical, choosing the right information security framework doesn?t have to be a headache. With these top three choices, you can?t go wrong with an actionable plan for protecting your company?s assets.

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