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In the current threat landscape, enterprises require a solid cybersecurity framework to secure their digital assets. However, as the threat level and data volume expand exponentially, this is not exactly straightforward.
If you depend on cloud-native applications and containerization, one of the best cybersecurity frameworks to work with comes from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Combined with policy-as-code (PaC), this approach goes a long way to fortify your infrastructure and secure your environment.
The NIST cybersecurity framework provides guidance for enterprises looking to mitigate risk and better secure their infrastructure. However, it's crucial to understand that this isn't a set of controls or rules that you must follow.
Instead, it provides a set of processes to help companies ascertain their current cybersecurity posture and identify and rectify vulnerabilities. The framework also allows organizations to respond and recover from cyberattacks quickly.
So, this is not something that's demanded by a regulatory body. Implementing the NIST cybersecurity framework is totally up to you. That said, it's also important to state that it's extremely useful for businesses of all sizes. This is because it provides an outline of best practices to help you decide where to concentrate your time and resources.
You can deploy the NIST cybersecurity framework in the following five core areas:
The NIST cybersecurity framework can help you determine the cybersecurity risk posture of all company assets. This includes personnel, equipment, systems, and data. In this scenario, you'll also have to investigate the roles and responsibilities of each employee, vendor, and anyone with access to sensitive data.
Key categories covered by this function include:
Auditing every aspect of your operation will go a long way to limit the damage if the unthinkable occurs.
With the proper controls and policies, you can implement systems that safeguard your critical digital assets. In this case, you must have the right rules and policies in place to protect your environment.
For example, you must take the following steps to strengthen your security posture:
Detection is all about identifying active security events that could potentially compromise your environment. So, you should look out for anomalies through continuous monitoring and resolve potential threats. For example, if you use a programmable logic controller, the system will know which communications are authorized and generate an alert whenever there’s suspicious activity. In the same vein, the system will also alert you to any abnormal communication between machines.
You need to formulate a robust response plan to investigate and contain a potential breach. Your plan should also include protocols to alert all stakeholders whose data might be at risk due to the security event.
Your disaster recovery and response plan should also include steps to limit damage and downtime. Whenever there's a cyberattack, make sure to update your response plan with lessons learned and test it regularly.
However, it's important to note that this (and the next) part of the cybersecurity framework can't be implemented with PaC.
Whenever you eliminate the threat, you must repair and restore damaged systems and services as soon as possible. You must also inform all stakeholders (including customers) about the incident and the recovery process.
Policy-as-code or PaC is the process of writing code to manage and automate security policies efficiently. You must write this code in a high-level language based on the policy engine you decide to use.
When you combine the NIST cybersecurity framework with PaC, you can enforce different rules within a cluster or across the organization with code. Whenever you codify security policies, you're essentially enhancing the efficiencies of your security protocols.
At Magalix, we help companies programmatically enforce the NIST cybersecurity framework and other security standards with PaC. This approach helps optimize the continuous deployment of cloud-native applications.
For example, you can use Magalix to identify all available assets and cloud-native components that demand protection.
Protect available assets and cloud-native components in the entities view on our console. You can also leverage it to ensure that the proper controls and critical security policies were applied automatically.
You can also use PaC to detect and fix potential issues early in the software development lifecycle. In this case, any critical policy violations will lead to security issues, so it's vital to address them immediately.
Provide a detailed report on your run-time and general posture to quickly address any detected issues.
Beyond the NIST security framework, you can also enforce governance standards and protocols across Kubernetes clusters and automate policy checks across cloud environments.
If you would like to learn more about Magalix and how you can enforce the NIST cybersecurity framework using policy-as-code,
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