LII:Comprehensive Guide to Developing and Implementing a Cybersecurity Plan/What are the major regulations and standards dictating cybersecurity action?
2. What are the major regulations and standards dictating cybersecurity action?
To be fair, the question of which regulations and standards affect how an organization implements cybersecurity is a most difficult one to answer. Not only do related regulations and standards vary by industry, they also vary by geography, complexity, and ease of implementation. Let's turn to the example of data retention requirements for businesses. Consider this software system requirements statement:
The system shall have a mechanism to securely retain data in the system for a specific time period and enable protections that ensure the accurate and ready retrieval of that data throughout the records retention period.
Through recent updates to LIMSpec, the following national and international regulations, standards, and guidance (Table 1) that tie into data retention and the protection of that retained data have been found (and that list will certainly continue to grow):
You'll notice many nods to U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), as well as E.U. law, agency requirements, accreditation requirements, standards, and guidelines for just this one system specification and security control. Additionally, there are surely other entities not listed in Table 1 that demand this requirement out of information system users. This example illustrates the complexity of making a complete and accurate list of regulations, standards, guidance, and other bodies of work demanding data protection from organizations.
That said, other types of legislation and standards relevant to cybersecurity stand out. Examples of legislation that mandate cybersecurity action include 23 NYCRR 500, the Federal Information Systems Management Act (FISMA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), IC Directive 503, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and the Sarbanes Oxley Act. Of standards not mentioned in Table 1, ANSI UL 2900-2-1 for networked medical devices, IEEE 1686-2013 for intelligent electronic devices, and ISO/IEC 27032:2012 for cybersecurity are also representative examples of standard-based efforts to improve cybersecurity in numerous industries.
Despite the difficulty of laying out a complete picture of regulations and standards impacting cybersecurity approaches, we can confidently say a few things about those types of regulations and standards. First, the risks and consequences of poor security drive regulation and, more preferably, standardization, which in turn moves the "goalposts" of cybersecurity among organizations. In the case of regulations, those organization that get caught not conforming to applicable regulations tend to suffer negative consequences, providing some incentive for them to improve organizational processes. One of the downsides of regulations is that they can at times be "imprecise" or "disconnected" from what actually occurs within the organization and its information systems. Rather than compelling significant focus on regulatory conformance, cybersecurity standards may, when adopted, provide a clearer path of opportunity for organizations to instead focus on improving their cybersecurity culture and outcomes, particularly since standards are usually developed with a broader consensus of interested individuals with expertise in the field. In turn, the organizations that adopt well-designed standards likely have a better chance of conforming to the regulations they must, and they'll likely have more interest in maintaining and improving the goalposts of cybersecurity.
That's not to say that compliance with regulations and standards alone can stop critical risks in their tracks:
Rules and compliance can mitigate some critical risks but not all of them. Active and cost-effective risk management requires managers to think systematically about the multiple categories of risks they face so that they can institute appropriate processes for each. These processes will neutralize their managerial bias of seeing the world as they would like it to be rather than as it actually is or could possibly become.
Second, modern cybersecurity standards frameworks and controls, which help guide organizations in developing a cybersecurity strategy, are typically harmonized with other standards and updated as business processes, technologies, cyber threats, and regulations evolve. For example, the industry-specific Water Sector Cybersecurity Risk Management Guidance v3.0, which contains a set of cybersecurity controls as they relate to the water and wastewater sectors, is harmonized with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. And NIST's Special Publication 800-171, Revision 2: Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations has controls mapped to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 controls. These and other signs point to some consolidation of thought on influential cybersecurity standards, as well as what constitutes relevant and necessary action towards preparing an organization to be more prepared for cyber threats and their potential consequences.
Third, when it comes to the question of what regulations are driving an organization to embrace cybersecurity, the general answer is "it's specific to each organization." While it's true that industries have their own regulations, and organizations in those industries often share the same set of challenges, additional factors such as regional requirements (e.g., the European Union General Data Protection Regulations [GDPR] and California Consumer Privacy Act [CCPA]) and even local requirements (e.g., privacy rules and guidelines, banning of specific technology in a city) will affect how the organization must operate. This information gathering process is a unique aspect of organizational cybersecurity planning; in the end it's up to the organization to "identify all obligatory cybersecurity requirements and controls with which it must comply." Armed with that information, the organization can integrate those identified requirements and controls with an existing baseline framework of broad and industry-specific cybersecurity controls, as well as any internal standards and control objectives specific to the organization and its policy requirements.
2.1 Cybersecurity standards frameworks
What are cybersecurity standards? CGI, Inc. calls them "critical means by which the direction described in an enterprise’s cybersecurity strategy and policies are translated into actionable and measurable criteria." They contain a set of statements about what processes must be followed to achieve the security outcomes expected by the organization. Sometimes those standards get placed within a framework, which adds additional policy, procedure, and process to the set of statements laid out in the standards. This resulting cybersecurity standards framework acts as a defined, collective approach to how the information system, data, and services are managed within the organization.
Some experts further differentiate between frameworks. Frank Kim, founder of security consulting firm ThinkSec and curriculum director at the SANS Institute, splits frameworks into three categories: control, program, and risk frameworks. Control frameworks provide a baseline set of controls for assessing technical capability, prioritizing implementation, and developing a cybersecurity plan. Program frameworks offer a more program-based approach, allowing organizations to broadly assess the current state of their cybersecurity program and further develop it. Risk frameworks "allow cybersecurity professionals to ensure they are managing their program in a way that is useful to stakeholders throughout the organization, and help determine how to prioritize security activities." Data communications and security specialist Robert Slade does something similar using slightly different terminology. Checklist frameworks are the equivalent of Kim's control frameworks, governance frameworks appear to be Kim's program frameworks, and risk management frameworks represent Kim's risk frameworks. Slade adds a fourth category, however: audit and assurance.
Numerous cybersecurity standards frameworks exist, some based in specific countries, others based on specific industries. According to at least one authority, the top four cybersecurity standards frameworks being leveraged by organizations are the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), ISO/IEC 27001:2013, Center for Internet Security (CIS) Controls, and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. These and a selection of additional cybersecurity standards frameworks and standards are shown in Table 2:
Choosing the appropriate frameworks requires consideration and research. For the purposes of this guide, NIST SP 800-53, Rev. 4 and, to a lesser degree, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework receive the most focus. That is not meant to dissuade organizations from using other frameworks. For example, the PCI DSS is heavily geared to the financial services industry and is industry-appropriate for those working with credit card transactions. However, additional controls from other frameworks may also be of use. In fact, more than 40 percent of organizations work with more than one set of cybersecurity controls when developing their cybersecurity plan. NIST SP 800-53, Rev. 4 and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework are particularly appealing though, having been developed with thousands of stakeholders giving feedback, and in such a way that the controls remain "intuitive and accessible to a wide range of practitioners."
- Aulakh, M. (25 February 2019). "CISOS Ultimate Guide for Top 30 Security Control Frameworks - 2019". Ignyte Assurance Platform. Mafazo LLC. https://ignyteplatform.com/top-30-security-frameworks-2019/. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Cleaveland, P. (24 September 2018). "10 key private-sector cybersecurity standards". Enterprise IOT Insights - Fundamentals. Arden Media Company, LLC. https://enterpriseiotinsights.com/20180924/fundamentals/10-key-private-sector-cybersecurity-standards. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Ciocoui, C.N.; Dobrea, R.C. (2010). "Chapter 1. The Role of Standardization in Improving the Effectiveness of Integrated Risk Management". In Nota, G.. Advances in Risk Management. IntechOpen. doi:10.5772/9893. ISBN 9789535159469.
- "Data Standardization: A Call to Action" (PDF). JPMorgan Chase & Co. May 2018. Archived from the original on 14 December 2019. https://web.archive.org/web/20191214203246/https://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/news/document/call-to-action.pdf. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Kaplan, R.S.; Mikes, A. (June 2012). "Managing Risks: A New Framework". Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2012/06/managing-risks-a-new-framework. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- West Yost Associates (4 September 2019). "Water Sector Cybersecurity Risk Management Guidance". American Water Works Association. https://www.awwa.org/Resources-Tools/Resource-Topics/Risk-Resilience/Cybersecurity-Guidance. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "NIST SP 800-171, Rev. 2 Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations". Computer Security Resource Center. National Institute of Standards and Technology. February 2020. https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-171/rev-2/final. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Waddell, K. (29 June 2019). "Cities are writing privacy policies". Axios. https://www.axios.com/cities-data-privacy-laws-fa0be8cb-234f-4237-b670-10ad042a772e.html. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Understanding Cybersecurity Standards" (PDF). CGI, Inc. April 2019. https://www.cgi.com/sites/default/files/2019-08/cgi-understanding-cybersecurity-standards-white-paper.pdf. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Rayome, A.D. (7 March 2019). "How to choose the right cybersecurity framework". TechRepublic. CBS Interactive. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-choose-the-right-cybersecurity-framework/. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Slade, R.M. (2011). "Security Frameworks" (PDF). Illinois Institute of Technology. http://itm.iit.edu/netsecure11/RobertSlade_SecFrameworks.pdf. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Watson, M. (17 January 2019). "Top 4 cybersecurity frameworks". IT Governance USA Blog. GRC International Group plc. https://www.itgovernanceusa.com/blog/top-4-cybersecurity-frameworks. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "The 62443 series of standards" (PDF). ISA. December 2016. https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/3415072/Resources/The%2062443%20Series%20of%20Standards.pdf. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Baseline Cyber Security Controls for Small and Medium Organizations". Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. 20 November 2019. https://cyber.gc.ca/en/guidance/baseline-cyber-security-controls-small-and-medium-organizations. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "The 20 CIS Controls & Resources". CIS Controls. 2019. https://www.cisecurity.org/controls/cis-controls-list/. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM)". Cloud Security Alliance. https://cloudsecurityalliance.org/research/cloud-controls-matrix/. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Code Quality Standards". Consortium for Information & Software Quality. 2019. https://www.it-cisq.org/standards/code-quality-standards/index.htm. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "COBIT 4.1: Framework for IT Governance and Control". Information Systems Audit and Control Association. 2019. Archived from the original on 21 January 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20200121085305/http://www.isaca.org/knowledge-center/cobit/Pages/Overview.aspx. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "CIP Standards". North American Electric Reliability Corporation. 2017. https://www.nerc.com/pa/Stand/Pages/CIPStandards.aspx. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Cybersecurity Assessment Tool". Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. May 2017. https://www.ffiec.gov/cyberassessmenttool.htm. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Essential Cybersecurity Controls (ECC - 1: 2018)" (PDF). National Cybersecurity Authority of Saudi Arabia. 2018. https://itig-iraq.iq/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Essential-Cybersecurity-Controls-2018.pdf. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Critical Security Controls for Effective Cyber Defence" (PDF). European Telecommunications Standards Institute. May 2015. https://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_tr/103300_103399/103305/01.01.01_60/tr_103305v010101p.pdf. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Compliance FAQs: Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)". Standards.gov. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 15 November 2019. https://www.nist.gov/standardsgov/compliance-faqs-federal-information-processing-standards-fips. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "HISO 10029:2015 Health Information Security Framework". New Zealand Ministry of Health. 21 June 2019. https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/hiso-100292015-health-information-security-framework. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "HITRUST CSF". HITRUST Alliance. 2019. https://hitrustalliance.net/hitrust-csf/. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "ISO/IEC 15408-1:2009 Information technology — Security techniques — Evaluation criteria for IT security — Part 1: Introduction and general model". International Organization for Standardization. January 2014. https://www.iso.org/standard/50341.html. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information technology — Security techniques — Information security management systems — Requirements". International Organization for Standardization. 3 June 2019. https://www.iso.org/standard/54534.html. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Cybersecurity Framework". Cybersecurity Framework. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 2019. https://www.nist.gov/cyberframework. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "NIST SP 800-53, Rev. 4 Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations". Computer Security Resource Center. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 22 January 2015. https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-53/rev-4/final. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Caralli, R.A.; Stevens, J.F.; Young, L.R. et al. (2007). "Introducing OCTAVE Allegro: Improving the Information Security Risk Assessment Process". Software Engineering Institute. https://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?assetid=8419. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard - Requirements and Security Assessment Procedures". PCI Security Standards Council, LLC. May 2018. https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/document_library. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Protective Security Requirements". New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. August 2019. https://www.protectivesecurity.govt.nz/. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "Secure Controls Framework (SCF)". Secure Controls Framework Council, LLC. 2019. https://www.securecontrolsframework.com/secure-controls-framework. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "SABSA Executive Summary". The SABSA Institute C.I.C. 2018. https://sabsa.org/sabsa-executive-summary/. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "The ISF Standard of Good Practice for Information Security 2018". Information Security Forum Ltd. 2018. https://www.securityforum.org/tool/the-isf-standard-good-practice-information-security-2018/. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "SOC for Cybersecurity". Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. 2019. https://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/frc/assuranceadvisoryservices/aicpacybersecurityinitiative.html. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- "NIST Marks Fifth Anniversary of Popular Cybersecurity Framework". National Institute of Standards and Technology. 12 February 2019. https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2019/02/nist-marks-fifth-anniversary-popular-cybersecurity-framework. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Perry, J. (16 April 2019). "Explaining the Breakout Success of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework". Infosecurity Magazine. Reed Exhibitions Limited. https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/opinions/breakout-nist-cybersecurity-1-1/. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
Citation information for this chapter
Chapter: 2. What are the major regulations and standards dictating cybersecurity action?
Title: Comprehensive Guide to Developing and Implementing a Cybersecurity Plan
Author for citation: Shawn E. Douglas
License for content: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International
Publication date: July 2020