This generalized comprehensive security framework would provide a foundation for organizations to build upon, ensuring a robust and adaptable approach to security that can meet the demands of various compliance obligations and evolving cyber threats.
When considering the key elements of various security frameworks, it is essential to adopt a holistic approach to data protection, encompassing robust risk management practices, stringent access controls, and comprehensive incident response strategies. Organizations should ensure compliance with relevant industry-specific and regional regulations while fostering a culture of security awareness and continuous improvement. This includes maintaining an effective information security management system (ISMS), managing third-party risks, and staying abreast of emerging technologies and evolving threats. A privacy-first mindset should be integrated throughout, ensuring that personal and sensitive information is protected in accordance with the highest standards of privacy laws. Regular audits and a commitment to adopting best practices will help in aligning with the core principles shared across all security frameworks, thereby strengthening the organization’s overall security posture.
Summary of Common Elements Across Security Frameworks
Security frameworks, although varied in their specific requirements and focus areas, share several common elements that form the backbone of information security and risk management practices:
- Data Protection: All frameworks emphasize the protection of sensitive data, whether it’s personal information, financial data, health records, or classified information.
- Access Control: They require the implementation of robust access control measures to ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive data and systems.
- Risk Management: A systematic approach to managing and mitigating risks associated with information security is a central theme across all frameworks.
- Incident Response: Preparedness for security incidents, including detection, response, and recovery processes, is universally recognized as critical.
- Security Policies and Procedures: The development and enforcement of security policies and procedures are fundamental requirements.
- Compliance and Auditing: Regular audits and compliance checks are mandated to ensure ongoing adherence to the security standards.
- Continuous Improvement: All frameworks advocate for continuous monitoring and improvement of the security posture.
- Vendor Management: Ensuring that third-party service providers and vendors comply with security requirements is a common requirement.
- Training and Awareness: Employee training and awareness programs are essential to maintaining security and preventing breaches.
- Physical Security: Protection of physical assets and infrastructure from unauthorized access or tampering is a shared concern.
Generalized Items Specific to Each Framework
While the above elements are common across most frameworks, there are specific aspects that, when generalized, contribute to a comprehensive security framework:
- Industry-Specific Requirements: Some frameworks cater to specific industries (e.g., PCI-DSS for payment card data, HIPAA for health information).
- Geographical and Jurisdictional Considerations: Different frameworks address legal and regulatory requirements relevant to specific regions (e.g., GDPR for the EU, CCPA/CPRA for California).
- Information Security Management Systems (ISMS): Frameworks like ISO 27001 focus on the establishment and maintenance of an ISMS.
- Cloud Security: Certain frameworks provide guidance specifically for cloud environments (e.g., ISO 27017, FedRAMP).
- Government Contracting: Some standards are tailored to organizations working with government entities (e.g., NIST 800-171 for protecting CUI).
- Privacy Management: Frameworks like ISO 27701 and GDPR focus on privacy management in addition to information security.
- Partner and Supplier Requirements: Frameworks such as Microsoft SSPA outline specific requirements for business partners and suppliers.
- Emerging Technologies: Upcoming frameworks like NIST AI RMF address risks associated with new technologies like AI.
Generalized Comprehensive Security Framework
To create a comprehensive security framework that encompasses all the elements of the individual frameworks mentioned, the following generalized structure can be adopted:
- Comprehensive Risk Assessment: Incorporate a universal risk assessment methodology that addresses cyber, physical, and personnel security risks across all business operations and technologies.
- Universal Security Controls: Develop a set of security controls that apply to all types of data and systems, including cloud and on-premises environments, with additional specialized controls for high-risk or regulated data.
- Global Compliance Standards: Establish compliance standards that can be adapted to meet the legal and regulatory requirements of any jurisdiction, including privacy laws and industry-specific regulations.
- Scalable ISMS Framework: Create a flexible ISMS framework that organizations of any size can implement, with guidelines for continuous improvement and adaptation to emerging threats.
- Vendor and Third-Party Management: Define a robust vendor management program that ensures all external parties adhere to the same security standards as the organization.
- Education and Training: Implement a comprehensive education and training program that addresses general security awareness and specialized training for IT staff and other stakeholders.
- Incident Response and Business Continuity: Develop a universal incident response plan and business continuity strategy that can be customized to the specific needs and scale of the organization.
- Technology and Innovation Adaptation: Include provisions for the ongoing evaluation and integration of security measures for emerging technologies and innovation.
- Auditing and Certification: Establish a regular auditing process that can be aligned with any of the existing framework requirements, with the ability to certify compliance with multiple standards.
- Privacy-First Approach: Integrate a privacy-first approach that respects and protects personal data by default, in line with the most stringent global privacy regulations.
AICPA standardized framework to prove a company’s security posture to prospective customers.
SOC 2 is a framework developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that defines criteria for managing customer data based on five “trust service principles”: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.
Global benchmark to demonstrate an elective Information Security Management System (ISMS). For businesses selling to customers outside of the US.
ISO 27001:2022 is an internationally recognized standard that specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system within the context of an organization’s overall business risks.
ISO 27017 provides guidelines for information security controls applicable to the provision and use of cloud services.
ISO 27017 is an international standard that provides guidelines for information security controls for cloud service providers and consumers.
Industry-mandated requirements to secure Credit Card data. SAQ D, SP and ROC prep support.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is a set of security standards designed to ensure that all companies that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
NIST CSF provides voluntary guidance, based on existing standards, guidelines, and practice, for organizations to better manage and reduce cybersecurity risk.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF) offers a comprehensive set of voluntary guidelines, best practices, and recommendations for improving cybersecurity and risk management.
NIST 800-171 provides recommended requirements for protecting the confidentiality of controlled unclassified information (CUI) for those working with the US government.
NIST 800-171 is a publication that provides guidelines for non-federal organizations to protect controlled unclassified information (CUI) when processing, storing, or transmitting CUI on behalf of the federal government.
NIST 800-53 is a catalog of security and privacy controls for all U.S. federal information systems except those related to national security.
NIST 800-53 provides a comprehensive set of security controls for federal information systems and organizations and documents security controls for all federal information systems, excluding those designed for national security.
FedRAMP requires cloud service providers and cloud-based products to comply with this security framework in order to serve US Federal Agencies.
The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services used by federal agencies.
AWS Foundational Technical Review (FTR)
AWS FTR is a mandatory requirement for access to several AWS Partner benefits including, the AWS Competency Program and the AWS ISV Accelerate Program.
The AWS Foundational Technical Review (FTR) is a requirement for AWS partners to ensure that their technical offerings align with AWS best practices for security, reliability, and operational excellence.
Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP)
MVSP is a minimalistic security checklist for B2B software and business process outsourcing suppliers.
The Minimum Viable Secure Product (MVSP) is a set of baseline security requirements that B2B software suppliers and business process outsourcing (BPO) providers should meet to ensure a fundamental level of security.
The Open Finance Data Security Standard (OFDSS) is a cloud-first security framework that enhances data security for FinTech companies.
The Open Finance Data Security Standard (OFDSS) is designed to provide a security framework that focuses on the unique requirements of FinTech companies, particularly those leveraging cloud technologies.
NIST AI RMF
(Coming soon) NIST AI Risk Management Framework is a structured guideline developed by NIST aimed at mitigating risks associated with the design, development, use, and evaluation of AI products, services, and systems.
The NIST AI Risk Management Framework (AI RMF) is an upcoming set of guidelines intended to help organizations manage risks associated with artificial intelligence systems.
European Union (EU) regulation to protect personal data and privacy of its citizens.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.
GDPR with EU-US Data Privacy
For entities operating under the jurisdiction of the US Federal Trade Commission or Department of Trade
This framework refers to the GDPR as it applies to entities in the US that handle the personal data of EU citizens, ensuring compliance with EU-US data privacy requirements.
United States (US) regulation to secure Protected Health Information (PHI).
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data in the US. Organizations that deal with PHI must have physical, network, and process security measures in place and follow them to ensure HIPAA Compliance.
California regulation that gives residents new data privacy rights.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) are legislative acts that allow California residents more control over their personal information held by businesses.
ISO 27701 is an extension of ISO 27001 that specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving a privacy information management system (PIMS).
ISO 27701 provides guidance for organizations looking to establish a management system that includes privacy protection elements, by extending ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 for privacy management within the context of the organization.
ISO 27018 establishes controls to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in public cloud computing environments.
ISO 27018 is a code of practice that focuses on protection of personal data in the cloud. It is based on ISO information security standard 27002 and provides implementation guidance on ISO 27002 controls applicable to public cloud Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
Microsoft SSPA is a mandatory compliance program for Microsoft suppliers working with Personal Data and/or Microsoft Confidential Data.
The Microsoft Supplier Security and Privacy Assurance (SSPA) program is a compliance program that outlines the data protection and privacy obligations of Microsoft suppliers when handling Microsoft’s personal and confidential data.
US Data Privacy (USDP)
Based on the Fair Information Practice Principles, our US Data Privacy framework centralizes and allows you to attest to privacy regulations in CA, CO, CT, UT, and VA and any new state privacy regulations as they’re introduced.
US Data Privacy (USDP) is a framework that encompasses various state-level privacy regulations, providing a centralized approach to compliance with the privacy laws of multiple states.
Other Compliance Frameworks
SOX ITGC is a set of IT controls required to be compliant with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) IT General Controls (ITGC) are a set of internal controls IT departments must implement to ensure the integrity of the financial data that is used in the financial reporting process.
Commonly used and accepted requirements from the UK’s NCSC for hardening IT environments against attacks. Specifically designed to impose technical cost on attackers as opposed to being a broad information security and compliance governance framework.
Cyber Essentials is a UK government-backed scheme that outlines five basic controls to protect organizations against a range of the most common cyber attacks.
Commonly used and accepted requirements from the ACSC in Australia for hardening IT environments against attacks. Specifically designed to impose technical cost on attackers as opposed to being a broad information security and compliance governance framework.
The Essential Eight is a set of strategies developed by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) to help organizations mitigate cyber security incidents caused by various cyber threats.
Create and monitor custom frameworks and controls. Use templates to import your existing requirements or build new ones to meet your organization’s maturing needs.
Custom frameworks allow organizations to develop and follow their own set of compliance controls tailored to their specific risks, regulatory requirements, and business needs.