Cybercrime is only increasing in today’s world. During the COVID-19 pandemic alone, the number of cyberattack cases has risen by a whopping 600%. The consequences of these hacks and data thefts especially affect small to medium-sized businesses since they often don’t have robust internal IT resources to fight off all possible threats. But despite internal resources, even large companies often fall victim. However, they at least have the financial insulation to weather these attacks. Does your business have the same?

Introducing the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Fortunately, you can find guidance for preventing attacks–or at least for mitigating their possibility. One source of support is a strong IT security provider that can deliver powerful know-how to your organization’s security. Another source comes from the government itself. It’s called the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF).

NIST is a U.S. Department of Commerce agency that helps organizations in nearly all industries create standards and procedures for best operating practices. One of these frameworks is the CSF. This powerful tool is for measuring how your company’s security is doing, by providing a list of points that you can adapt to improve your preparedness enormously. Useful self-assessment tools based on the NIST CSF are also available through IT professionals like Great Lakes Computer Corporation.

The Benefits of the NIST CSF

1. The CSF matters for everyone

The NIST CSF is being used to encourage organizations of all types and sizes to professionally beef up their IT security procedures. Because of this, it matters across the board right down to small organizations and businesses. Why? Because the improvements in IT standards that are applied to large providers of numerous services will–or at least should–make those services more secure for the smaller companies that depend on them.

So for example, if your small business uses online banking, sales terminals or purely digital support from providers like Cloudflare and Amazon Web Services for part of its infrastructure, the NIST guidelines for these big players can improve your own direct security.

2. The NIST CSF has been carefully designed

The quality of government knowledge and services in some areas get plenty of criticism, but the NIST are impressively diligent about standards. The CSF has been developed with input from some of the sharpest IT security minds in both the private and public sectors. For an organization that already has a track record of setting excellent standards, this makes the CSF very robust.

The language of the document is also very universal in how it can be applied across almost all industries and contexts. Check it out for yourself on the Federal Trade Commission’s breakdown of how the NIST CSF works for small businesses.

3. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework sets common, measurable standards

At its core, the NIST CSF is all about setting common, easily understandable and flexible standards for IT security, infosec procedures and cybercrime prevention. Because of this, you can refer to the standards and security quality that you want for your own organization in a way that any IT provider you work with should understand.

The same breakdown of best practices in the NIST CSF can easily let you know if your own organization or your IT security provider are being rigorous enough with digital security. You can use the Framework as a barometer for hiring IT professionals, IT services providers and for using cybersecurity technology in ways that actually help you stop cyber threats.

Applying NIST Cybersecurity Standards with Professional Help

If the NIST CSF and its guidelines seem to be a bit complicated, remember that you can find help in applying them. Great Lakes Computer Corporation has been keeping firmly abreast of NIST CSF implementation since the beginning of the standard. Our Managed IT Services professionals can provide your organization with the security assessment and implementation services you need to keep your company safe. To learn how Great Lakes Computer Corporation can help your business with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, click the image below or HERE.