How to Assess Your NIST Framework Tier Level?

The framework base, identities, and execution tiers are the three main components of the widely approved NIST Cybersecurity Framework. While the framework outlines the exact control types, you’ll need to safeguard your data, and the profiles help you develop a risk-reduction plan. On the other hand, tiers of execution create a cybersecurity baseline that you may use to characterize your present capabilities. Here, the need for managed IT services for government contractors has become inevitable. 

The NIST framework implementation layers are explained.

While NIST tier classifications and cybersecurity maturity levels have a lot in common, they are not the same. Instead, they’re supposed to serve as an internal benchmark for assessing how well you’ve implemented the framework’s basic controls.

Overall, there are four stages, with the fourth indicating sophisticated cybersecurity:

Tier 1: Security is mainly done ad hoc, reactionary.

Tier 2: The leadership is risk-aware, but the execution is inadequate.

Tier #3: Corporation-wide NIST CSF measures have been established.

Tier #4: Organizations can effectively identify and foresee risks.

Most organizations may realistically aim for the third tier, and it is vital in highly regulated areas like critical equipment and banking. The fourth tier relates to the most effective data security technique. However, small organizations may attain top cybersecurity efficacy by working with a company that provides essential services like monitored surveillance and response (MDR) and security incident and event management (SIEM).

Identifying your risk appetite

Every organization and individual judgment has a risk tolerance. Although some businesses are cautious of risk, this attitude can hamper innovation. On the other hand, enterprises risk exposing themselves and their consumers to the significant prospect of a security breach and all the consequences.

Before determining your NIST framework tier level, consider where you want to go and what risks you’re prepared to face. It’s critical to strike a balance between risk control and development. Regardless of how vital a system is or its delicate information, your risk appetite will undoubtedly differ.

Take a look at your governance competencies

Because you can’t secure what you don’t know, defining your governance capabilities is the first step in assessing your adherence to the NIST architecture. Are you aware of where your information is stored and what safeguards are in existence to secure it? Do you have a clear understanding of the threats to your company? Do you have a plan in place to mitigate the risks?

These are only a few of the questions to consider while determining your NIST tier classification. If you can’t respond in affirmation to the questions above, you need to work on your skills. Your contingency approach must be consolidated and deployed across the business to adhere to the framework fully.

Take a look at your safety precautions

It shouldn’t be difficult to determine your current NIST framework tier level. Essentially, it boils down to one problem: what safeguards are in place to secure your assets and information from attack? If protection measures are only implemented on a case-by-case basis, the absence of uniformity alone might be dangerous.

Malware detection and routers are only the tip of the iceberg for defense. The prime goal of the managed IT services provider should be to keep attackers from ever gaining access to your infrastructure in the first place. MDR and SIEM solutions, which enable proactive protections that can be implemented across your whole computer infrastructure, can help with this.

Examine your response and recovery strategies.

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework’s fourth and fifth significant areas, respectively, deal with incident response and recovery. When an event is reported, there must be a defined procedure for dealing with it. When it comes to recognizing a possible danger, such as a phishing email, everyone must be aware of their duties and obligations. If individuals don’t know what to do if they get a phishing email, for instance, your reaction approach is probably in the bottom tier.