How to Build a Cybersecurity Framework

By Quinn Cosgrove

Feb 15, 2022 9:45:00 AM

About 4 minutes

To defend against today’s sophisticated cyberattacks, companies need more than security tools. Instead, they must design a security strategy that allows them to take a proactive and preventative approach to fighting cybercrime.

Developing or following a cybersecurity framework gives shape to this cybersecurity strategy. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has come up with a framework for controlling cybersecurity risk that your business can use to create a robust security strategy.

Your organization should work with a partner that can help you adopt the NIST Cybersecurity Framework using security tools that align with the Framework.

What Is the NIST Cybersecurity Framework? 

The National Institute of Standards and Technology developed its cybersecurity framework out of concern for the safety of critical national infrastructure. Cyberterrorists could cripple the country by attacking and disabling infrastructure such as energy and water utilities.

NIST counts cybersecurity as a vital part of the national risk management process. The Framework is designed to help organizations of all types follow standards and best practices for security management and resilience. The NIST Framework follows a zero-trust approach to cybersecurity in which organizations trust nothing and verify everything.

NIST is continuously adapting its guidance in response to the changing threat landscape. For example, as ransomware has grown in prominence as an attack vector, NIST has published advice about mediating these types of attacks.

5 Parts of the NIST Framework

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework has 5 parts that enable companies to prevent most cyberattacks and fight against those that can’t be avoided. The 5 parts recommended by the Framework are: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover.


To prepare for a threat, your company must first identify it. Advanced analytics can be used to determine if network traffic patterns are suspicious and make them easier to detect in the future.


Organizations must have tools and processes in place to prevent threats from breaching the perimeter and infiltrating the network through endpoints.


To prevent cybercriminals from gaining entry to company systems and causing damage, organizations need methods of detecting threats.


Detecting and identifying threats is part of the process, but companies must have methods of responding to attempted or successful breaches.


If a breach is successful, a business needs to have a plan in place for recovering data that might be lost or compromised and getting systems back online.

Adopting the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

A security services provider can help your organization build a NIST Framework by introducing first-rate security tools, such as identity and access management, air gaps, breach prevention, and endpoint security. The right partner should also provide support for these solutions.

Identity and access management protects sensitive data and mission-critical applications from being accessed by unauthorized users. Data access permissions can be assigned according to an employee’s role at the company for protection against both internal and external threats.

Air gaps are a way of physically or logically isolating data so it cannot be accessed by bad actors. While tape backups and off-site storage used to be the only ways to create an air gap, today network controls can be used for logical separation.

Breach prevention tools include firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Firewalls prevent threats from getting past the perimeters of your system. Intrusion detection systems pick up anomalies in network activity that could signal criminal activity.

Endpoint security is essential in today’s remote workplaces and IoT environments. These solutions protect the company network, which is connected to mobile devices, laptops, and connected devices in multiple locations.

Getting on the Road to the NIST Framework

NIST has designed a roadmap for adopting its cybersecurity framework, and a technology partner can work with your company to develop custom next steps for implementing a strategy that aligns with the framework.

ProActive Solutions takes a consultative approach to security and compliance as part of our data center transformation services. We can help your company build a security strategy that follows the NIST Framework and includes solutions that cut threats off at the pass before they can infiltrate your systems.

Get started with adopting a cybersecurity framework. Request a personalized whiteboard session with a ProActive security expert.

Tags: National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, NIST Cybersecurity Framework, cybersecurity strategy, cybersecurity framework, identity and access management, air gap