How to Implement NIST CSF

Published by Axio

Addressing the most pressing NIST CSF question 

When it comes to cybersecurity risk management, we are often asked how to implement the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. Before diving into the answer, we’d like everyone to know it can be an enjoyable and rewarding process. You can get started immediately  for free as a single user, with NIST CSF in the Axio360 platform. It’s based on our belief that everyone should have the best possible cyber risk management experience. 

 We welcome you to explore NIST CSF in our easy to use Axio360 platform user interface right now. And if you have any questions, our experts are standing by to discuss how the framework can help achieve your specific cybersecurity management goals.  

NIST CSF experience in the field, not just in the lab 

Members of the Axio team have been closely involved with the development of this highly popular cybersecurity framework from the beginning of its release to the general public. Some of us have even been credited as contributors, leaving behind guidance and advice for the strategic direction of future versions. 

 When the NIST CSF first came to fruition, conducting an assessment was a highly manual and time-consuming  process. Our client engagements involved using a custom spreadsheet. This was before the Axio360 platform disrupted the market in 2018 

 Today, it’s hard to believe that a few years ago we were doing cybersecurity risk assessments manually without the power of cloud infrastructure, real-time collaboration, and community insights.   

 The original spreadsheet method of performing a NIST CSF assessment may have been effective for short term goals (its completion provided valuable guidance to improve risk management processes)but its usage wasn’t scalable. Instead, it created real-world issues that impeded teamwork, version control, and actionable improvement.  

 Even if the findings of our assessments were significant, we knew the process was missing necessary  elements for continuous improvement. Not only was the data siloed, but it wasn’t treated as evolutionary. There was no way for it to seamlessly integrate with every other necessary person, process, and technology at an organization.   

 We addressed all these issues with the release of Axio360. And NIST CSF was one of the first frameworks our platform supported. 

 

Why Implementing NIST CSF Should be Continuous  

Achieving and maintaining better cyber risk posture is like being a world-class Olympic runner. You can’t just train once a year and expect to see lasting results. You need to train consistentlyset the appropriate milestones and benchmarks to track your improvement, and make the necessary adjustments 

 If achieving better cybersecurity is akin to running a marathon we ask, why would anyone want to do one cyber risk assessment sprint? The threat landscape is just too complex and too many things can change in an instant. And when your “competition” has malicious intent, you need to be able to react instantly, and  be at the helm of an organization that is optimized to respond appropriately.  

 So when we are asked, “How to Implement NIST CSF?” our answer is always the same 

 Implement NIST CSF as a continuous process.  

 And to help you make sure you are successful; we’ve highlighted some important continuous  elements to look for before you start your journey. 

Ensuring a Continuous NIST CSF Assessments: 5 Point Scale  

  1. Can you take notes for each practice you are completing in the assessment? 
  2. Can you assign tasks to individuals with deadlines? 
  3. Do you have on-screen access to help text for definitions and concepts? 
  4. Can you rapidly see your progress? 
  5. Do you have the ability to do multiple internal assessments and benchmark yourself against other organizations? 

When researching NIST CSF tools, we’d recommend you to assign 1 point for each item in this scale above. If you scored a 5, then you are well on your way to continuous cybersecurity improvement. If you have scored below a 5, on our Continuous Assessment Scale, there’s no need to be concerned. The Axio360 platform is the easiest and fastest way to get started with NIST CSF. If you’d like to learn more information on how to implement a NIST CSF assessment in Axio360, you can book a demo and speak with one of our experts. 

Axio360 NIST CSF Roadmap Planning Tool
Axio360 NIST CSF Roadmap Planning Tool