Cybersecurity Framework - A Complete Guide

By Jagadish Jaganathan

Last updated on Apr 1 2022

Cybersecurity Framework - A Complete Guide

Cybersecurity Framework Explained 


In the past few decades, the world has seen so many unprecedented developments, and things that once seemed fantasy are a reality now. Technology has reached far and wide and even the remotest human habitations are in some way influenced by it. There was a time when cybersecurity was considered an elite term associated with big technological corporations. But today with the democratization and accessibility of software and information technology, cybersecurity has become a need for anyone with a computer device.

There is no denying how much scientific development has benefited mankind, despite everything conveyed by the hit T.V. series Black Mirror. The field of computer science has especially changed the way how we run the world. But the same development has made way for unique and specific threats, the threats of cybercriminals, hackers, and threat actors.

Cybercriminals are individuals or a team of people who commit illegal and malicious activities on digital systems and networks. They use the latest technologies and techniques to commit fraudulent activities and their motive may vary from financial gain to simply causing disruption and chaos. Not all hackers are cybercriminals, hacking by definition means finding new and innovative ways to work on a system. Some hackers perform cybercriminal activities while others just work on efficiently utilizing the system. Threat actors perform targeted attacks to compromise the entity’s infrastructure.

Undoubtedly, we are regularly reminded that people with ill minds and evil intentions are eager to steal the essential data that your business needs to function. Security is the only way to protect the important data of your business. Most of the time, it is found that ill-minded people hack the computer or account and steal all crucial information and data. We all know that it is significant for organizations or businesses to protect their data. The motivation can vary, but the malicious behavior of the hacker is either to get a profit or to steal the data.

Be it an individual, a small firm, or a big organization, no one is spared from the maliciousness of cyber-criminal activities. So how do we stay safe from the threats of the digital world? In this blog let us discuss in detail different cybersecurity frameworks that would help us safeguard our digital interests.

The cybersecurity framework is widely popular for the betterment of organization methodology. The primary purpose of the cybersecurity framework is to provide the structure and process that you need to protect important digital assets. Let's find out more about cybersecurity frameworks and which frameworks will better suit your requirements.

Digital protection is a hot, important subject, and it will remain so endlessly. If individuals, associations, organizations, and nations depend on PCs and data innovation, network safety will constantly be a key. Moreover, since there's no opportunity for society to walk out of the computerized world, that importance will be long-lasting.

It is very shocking that according to a recent survey front, it was found that around 70% of business leaders are not convinced that their companies can withstand possible cyber-attacks. This fear is widespread, and many people in the organization or business are making ideal frameworks to regulate better performance and monitor the risk of cybersecurity breaches before they happen. You can find numerous options to prevent your data breach most effectively.

If you are willing to know about the best cybersecurity, then make sure to rely on this article. In this article, you will know that the best way to meet the objective of cybersecurity is by adopting a cybersecurity framework. Mainly frameworks ensure to offer the structure and process which play an essential role to protect your critical digital assets.

Read more about Cybersecurity Tools.


Crucial Information about Cybersecurity Frameworks


You need to return similarly to May and the Colonial Pipeline digital assault to track down an illustration of network safety's progress with significance. Each association with a computerized and IT part needs a sound network protection system; that implies they need the best network safety structure conceivable.


That is why today, we are directing our concentration toward digital protection structures and the Cybersecurity maturity model. What are they, what sorts exist, what are their advantages? Before finishing the article, we genuinely want to believe that you will leave with a strong handle of these systems and how they might help work on your network protection position.


All in all, what's a digital protection structure, at any rate?

So the most usual question that arises is what a cybersecurity framework is. If we talk about cybersecurity frameworks, then it is a system of standards, guidelines, and best practices that helps manage and control the risk factors of the digital world. There is no hidden fact that the digital world is now the most common preference of people for different purposes. It doesn't matter if you are prepared to run a successful business or lead a successful organization; it is always essential to protect your data from any cyber-attack. The main objective of cybersecurity frameworks is to match security expectations. You can easily avoid unauthorized system access with control such as username and password.


It is essential to know that cybersecurity frameworks are voluntary guidelines based on their existing policies and practices to control and reduce cybersecurity risk factors. The best thing about cybersecurity frameworks is that it is developed through a coordinated effort among the business and government. The cybersecurity frameworks comprise measures, rules, practices to reflect the safety of the imperative foundation.


If we talk about the frameworks in this physical world, a beam system holds up a building. According to the sources, it was found that the frameworks have been around for a long time. It was widely used in financial accounting as the framework helps the accountant keep proper track of financial transactions. Though the concept of framework was initially used in the field of accounting and finance, with the growing need for a structured approach, it was later incorporated into cybersecurity.


Cyber security frameworks take the approach of frameworks to secure digital assets. The main objective of creating cybersecurity frameworks is to give a wide range of quality security and reliable ways to mitigate cyber risk. Cyber security frameworks are compulsory to maintain a better level of protection.


If a framework is a system of guidelines, standards, and best practices, a Cybersecurity framework is a system that manages the risks that come with working on digital applications and devices. Cybersecurity frameworks are established with security objectives like preventing unauthorized access with password authentication, cloud security, etc. A framework is something that supports an idea or a concept with actionable and achievable items.


As I mentioned earlier frameworks are the beam structures that hold up the building of systems. Frameworks help with organizing information and the related tasks to achieve a particular goal. So the idea of cybersecurity is to use the framework approach to safeguard digital information and assets. A robust cybersecurity framework must offer a reliable and systemic way to counter cyber risk irrespective of the complexity of the environment.


Read more about Cybersecurity Fundamentals.


Cybersecurity frameworks are mandatory for corporations that work with sensitive and high-stake information. For example, organizations dealing with credit card transactions should adhere to the guidelines of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). This cybersecurity framework is widely used, and it is a set of security controls required to be implemented to protect payment-related data. The primary purpose of this cybersecurity framework is to protect credit cards, debit cards, and Cash cards. It is also considered a cyber-resilience framework. Even though all organizations working with credit information should adhere to these guidelines, any type of company can adopt a cybersecurity framework.


Components of the Cybersecurity Framework


Now let's talk about the components of cybersecurity frameworks. It is essential to learn the features better to understand the concept of the cybersecurity framework process. Mainly there are three critical components of cybersecurity frameworks.


  • Frameworks core

It is the first key cybersecurity framework component that arranges the required cybersecurity exercise and results. It is used to understand the language norms. It is essential to know that the framework's core guidelines are mainly associated with overseeing and decreasing the chance of cybersecurity to supplement the association's current cybersecurity and risk management process.


  • Implementation tiers

It is the second key component of cybersecurity frameworks. The primary purpose is to help the association by setting how an association sees cybersecurity risk management. These components of cybersecurity frameworks manage the association to consider the suitable level of thoroughness for the cybersecurity framework’s program. It is utilized regularly.


  • Profile

Profiles are association novel arrangements of the organizational prerequisites and purpose. It is the key component of cybersecurity frameworks widely used to recognize and organize open doors to enhance the security level at an association in the most effective way.


What are the Cybersecurity Framework's Five Functions?


Are you wondering about the function of cybersecurity frameworks? Well, we all know how it has become commonly essential to implement the process of cybersecurity frameworks to provide quality security. It is necessary to protect all types of data to manage an organization's success. If you want to run a successful business or organization, you need to consider the implementation of cybersecurity frameworks. If we talk about the function of cybersecurity frameworks, then five essential tasks are included in the frameworks.


  • The first function of cybersecurity frameworks is to identify. The identification is essential as it helps build a hierarchical comprehension in overseeing the frameworks, individuals, and capacities.
  • The second most important function of cybersecurity frameworks is to protect. The protection function of cybersecurity frameworks diagrams the proper shields that guarantee conveyance of the basic foundation administration. The best attribute of this function is that it has to underpin the capacity to restrict the effects of potential cybersecurity occasions.
  • Detect is the third function of cybersecurity frameworks. The best thing to detect is that it characterizes the proper exercise to recognize the event of a cybersecurity occasion. This function will empower the opportune revelation of the cybersecurity occasion.
  • Respond to the other functions of cybersecurity frameworks. The response function of the cybersecurity frameworks incorporates the proper activities to make a clear move regarding a distinguished cybersecurity occurrence. The best attribute of this function is that it helps bolster the capacity to contain the effects of a potential cybersecurity occurrence.
  • The last function of cybersecurity standards and frameworks includes recovery. The recovery function is used to distinguish the proper exercise to keep up the plan according to the requirements for versatility. This function is widely used to reestablish any abilities or the administration that were impeded due to cybersecurity events.


What are the different types of cybersecurity frameworks?


There are different types of cybersecurity frameworks based upon the requirements and available resources. These framework types have been categorized into three main types; let's discuss each of them along with their purposes.

Control frameworks – these types of frameworks are used to develop a basic strategy for the security team. It helps to establish a baseline for controls and assess the current technical state. Control frameworks usually prioritize control implementation of various security activities.

Program frameworks – it is used for assessing the whole security program and building a comprehensive security strategy. This is usually achieved by performing a competitive analysis of the security programs.

Risk frameworks – this is the key process in assessing, defining, and managing the risks. By prioritizing security activities, a risk framework establishes a structured program.


For what reason Do We Need Cyber Security Frameworks?


Network safety systems eliminate a portion of the mystery in getting computerized resources. Structures give network safety directors a dependable, normalized, efficient method for alleviating digital gamble, no matter the climate's intricacy.

Network safety structures assist groups with tending to network safety challenges, giving an essential, very much idea intended to safeguard its information, foundation, and data frameworks. The systems offer direction, assisting IT security pioneers with dealing with their association's digital dangers all the more astutely.

Organizations can adjust and change a current structure to address their issues or make one inside. Nonetheless, the last choice could present difficulties since specific organizations should take on security structures that agree with business or unofficial laws. Local systems might demonstrate deficiencies to fulfill those guidelines.

The main concern, organizations are progressively expected to keep standard network protection practices, and utilizing these systems makes consistency simpler and more astute. The legitimate structure will suit the requirements of various measured organizations paying little heed to the numerous businesses they are essential for.

Structures assist organizations with following the proper security strategies, which protects the association and cultivates purchaser trust. Clients have fewer qualms about working online with organizations that follow laid-out security conventions, guarding their financial data.

The primary purpose of cybersecurity frameworks is to improve the organization's critical infrastructure. There is no hidden fact that the frameworks can be effectively implemented in all stages and tailored to meet the organization's requirements.


What are the different cybersecurity frameworks?


There is no hidden fact that numerous cybersecurity frameworks make it challenging to prefer anyone. Whenever it is the matter of selecting a cybersecurity framework, you will have an ample selection to choose from. You need to select the best one according to your requirements. Almost every type of cybersecurity framework is workable and effective. You can easily select as per your need. Knowing the right choice of cybersecurity frameworks is essential for better security. The right cybersecurity frameworks that are instituted correctly allow the IT security team to manage the cyber risk. Organizations are permitted to either customize their existing frameworks or develop one in-house.

Here are the best frameworks recognized as the topmost used in the industry for their practical function. Undoubtedly, your selection should depend on the organization's security needs.

  • The NIST cybersecurity framework
  • CIS
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • GDPR
  • NICE


NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The NIST or the NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity is devised to protect critical infrastructure like power plants and dams from cyber-attacks. But the principles of NIST can be incorporated in any organization for better security. NIST covers a wide variety of standards including cybersecurity.

NIST framework is a highly complex methodology and has a broad scope. The implementation of this framework usually requires a lot of man-hours, a large amount of documentation, procedures, controls, and so on. But NIST framework concept at root is fairly simple to understand.

NIST also offers the NICE framework. The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Framework outlines the necessary skills and duties for cybersecurity workers. This framework allows workforce, developers, and educators to explore work roles, skills, abilities, knowledge required for cybersecurity job profiles.

Nist is considered the most effective cybersecurity framework. The people widely accept it because it provides an extremely high level of security. You can also choose to use The NIST framework to improve the critical infrastructure cybersecurity for the sake of brevity. It is essential to learn that The NIST cybersecurity Framework was established during the Obama administration in response to presidential execution order 13636. The NIST cybersecurity framework's main objective is to protect against cyber-attacks.

NIST is the set of voluntary security standards private sector companies can use to most effectively find, identify, and respond to cyber-attacks. The best thing about this cybersecurity framework is that it helps the organization prevent and recover from cyber-attacks. There are five primary functions of the NIST security framework: the following.

  • Identify
  • Protect
  • Detect
  • Respond
  • Recover

This framework provides an organized mechanism to identify the risk and assess the implementation of necessary counteraction. It has formulated ways that the organization needs to follow such as protecting the assets, detecting the risks, responding to threats, and recovering the assets.



CIS was established in the 2000s by a group of industry experts and volunteers to build an effective cybersecurity framework to protect organizations from cyber-attacks. The second most accepted cybersecurity framework is Critical Security Controls. It consists of 20 controls and it is constantly updated by industry experts, academicians, government, etc. to stay up to date in the cybersecurity arena.

CIS can be adopted by organizations that are just starting out. And CIS consists of three levels of the cybersecurity framework, and they are categorized as basic, foundational, and organizational depending upon the scale of the companies. It can also be incorporated with other industry standards frameworks like HIPPA and NIST. CIS works with a concept of ‘benchmark’ which is standard guidelines that map the security activities of the organizations, comply with regulatory bodies, and update existing security configuration.

These benchmarks are divided into essential security configuration and higher-level security configuration. Essential security configuration is a basic framework for companies of small scale and they don’t usually affect the service performance. Higher-level security configuration is an advanced framework; these are for large-scale industries and affect the service performance.

If you are ready to start a small company and work its way up gradually, you need to consider using Critical Security Controls. The Critical Security Controls cybersecurity framework was developed in the late 2000s with the primary objective to protect companies from any cyber-attack or threat. The best thing about this information security framework is that it consists of controls that security professionals regularly update from different fields like academia, government, and industries.

Critical Security Controls cybersecurity frameworks begin with the basics, move on to the foundational, and end with the organization. Critical Security Controls uses the benchmark, mainly based on the common standard such as HIPAA or NIST. You can prefer using these cybersecurity frameworks to improve cyber security anyway.


ISO/IEC 27001

ISO 27001/27002 is one of the most widely recognized organizations providing standard guidelines on cybersecurity.

It is one of the best cybersecurity risk management frameworks. It can be used for internal situations and access to third parties. Most people prefer the ISO cybersecurity framework, which operates under the assumption that the company or the organization has an information security management system.. Information Security Management System or ISMS will systematically manage the organization’s risks, threats, and vulnerabilities in terms of cybersecurity. 

The best thing about this cybersecurity framework is that it requires management to exhaustively manage their information security irks and focus on the threat and vulnerability.

This framework also requires organizations to implement InfoSec controls. InfoSec or information security controls are targeted at mitigating the risks. These controls need to be clear and coherent with the management principles. The controls are regularly updated to incorporate the latest changes trends in cybersecurity.

There is no doubt that ISO 270K cybersecurity frameworks demand adequate and quality security standards. The best thing about this cybersecurity framework is that it recommends around 114 different controls systems browning 14 separate categories.


For an organization to get certified as an ISO 27001 compliant, it must demonstrate to the auditor that it follows the PDCA cycle.

PDCA Cycle – This is the most commonly used business management technique used across organizations to manage change implementation. There are four main steps in the PDCA cycle, they are,

  • Plan – with respect to PDCA, the plan must include the implementation of an information security management system alongside the company’s vision, goals, and objective.
  • Do – this is the actual implementation of the risk management systems or ISMS systems. These include plans, policies, regulations, procedures, etc.
  • Check – reviewing the ISMS and constantly implementing any development and change is a very important aspect of the cybersecurity framework. These are achieved by continuous monitoring.
  • Act – this is the process of taking necessary action like counter-measures, or new implementation to keep the cybersecurity framework functional and in place. This also includes internal audits, preventive measures, and system reviews.



Federal Information Security Management Act or FISMA is an information security governance framework intended to protect federal government systems and information against cyber-attacks. It also extends to third-party and other aided organizations that work on behalf of the federal government.

FISMA framework has many similarities with NIST, like NIST even FISMA requires all the aligned and third-party agencies to maintain a record of their digital assets and keep track of any integration between the system and network. All the information is ranked based on its sensitivity and the risk associated with them. The security controls should meet the minimum requirements specified by FISMA. This framework encourages organizations to perform continuous risk assessments, regular monitoring, and annual review of the IT infrastructure.



The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was established in the year 2016 to implement data protection procedures and practices for the citizens of the European Union. All the organizations that are established in the EU and all the business that handles customer data in the EU region are supposed to strictly adhere to the GDPR guidelines.

This framework includes 99 articles on the company’s compliance responsibilities. They include consumers’ right to data access, data protection policy and procedures, data breach notifications and alerts, and more. GDPR is known for levying heavy fines for non-compliance, hence organizations in the EU region and very particular about the cybersecurity guidelines.



Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a cybersecurity framework for the healthcare organization, the main objective of HIPAA guidelines is to protect and secure the privacy of electronic health information.

Even though HIPAA remains a challenge for healthcare organizations, it is a necessary aspect of business as there are new levels of threats cropping up surrounding health information. To be compliant with HIPAA, organizations need to conduct employee training on best practices in cybersecurity, perform regular risk assessments, and manage emerging risks.


Why is Cybersecurity Framework important?


Cybersecurity frameworks are mandatory for organizations dealing with critical data; Frameworks are a value-add even if the companies already have security performance management or a third-party risk management strategy. The cybersecurity framework acts as a guiding strategy and is very helpful in getting insights about the organization's cybersecurity needs, like where the highest risks are, what resources could be employed in unforeseen events, etc. here are more benefits of implementing a cybersecurity framework,

  • The cybersecurity framework offers superior and unbiased security to digital assets. And it can be incorporated with existing risk management strategies.
  • With a cybersecurity framework, you can implement long-term strategies on information risk assessment systems.
  • Cybersecurity frameworks help bridge the gap between the technical and business entities of an organization.
  • Using a framework will ensure security management is flexible. And most frameworks are designed to cater to the changing needs and developments on cyber security technology and techniques.
  • Most international organizations are required to follow multiple guidelines from the different regulatory bodies, and frameworks will help navigate these processes.

CISSP Certification



We have already discussed extensively the need for cybersecurity and how vulnerabilities can be exploited by cybercriminals. Cybersecurity frameworks provide a basis for a strong information security management system and prevent data breaches. It offers organized and systemic methods to effectively establish security controls. A cyber assessment framework gives a premise to accomplishing a solid security act and forestalling information breaks. Sometimes, they empower an association to become consistent with a particular guideline.

They also enable organizations to become certified and compliant with their industry-specific regulations. All things said, adopting a framework is not an easy task, it requires a strong commitment to follow the arduous process. Embracing a system requires a choice to submit time and assets to the undertaking. It cost extensive resources, time, and man-hours. But the framework once put to work and in place will aid the smooth functioning of your cyber-security requirements for a long time. The system offers a coordinated method for becoming secure and, afterward, persistently measures the adequacy of the security controls laid out by the structure. You can also find a cybersecurity capability maturity model that will help in numerous ways.

Cybersecurity is a fascinating field full of challenges and rewarding experiences. Recent studies show that the scope of the cybersecurity market will become a 170 $ billion industry by 2025. And for the last five years, cybersecurity professionals are earning more than an average IT professional. The existing salary gap between cybersecurity professionals and other IT professionals is at least 9%.

In this day and age, there is no restriction on how much one can learn and the same applies to the field of cybersecurity. There are so many resources available that can enrich your knowledge in this field. But if you are career-oriented and are looking to make a career jump or switch, getting a professional certification is the best choice.

Read more about these cybersecurity management certification training courses offered by Sprintzeal,

CISA Certified Information System Auditor

CISSP Certified Information System Security

Sprintzeal is an ATO (Accredited Training Organization) that specializes in offering professional certification training courses. We have a track record of successfully upgrading the careers of more than 300,000+ individuals.

About the Author

Sprintzeal   Jagadish Jaganathan

Jagadish Jaganathan is a Content Writer at SprintZeal. An avid reader and passionate about learning new things, his works mainly focus on E-Learning and Education domain.

Recommended Resources

SQL Interview Questions and Answers 2022

SQL Interview Questions and Answers 2022


How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer

How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer


Total Quality Management - Concepts, Principles and Implementation

Total Quality Management - Concepts, Principles and Implementation