Understanding the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Understanding the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Cybersecurity for businesses becomes more important by the day as criminals and security experts play a game of cat-and-mouse. Cybersecurity threats can pose serious barriers to your organization’s success. One report shows that the average data breach costs $3.86 million. Every company, large and small, needs a way to assess potential risks. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework offers an approach to risk assessment that can save businesses millions of dollars.

Core Functions of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework consists of five core functions that help prevent and lessen the impact of security breaches. The functions include:

  • Identify
  • Protect
  • Detect
  • Respond
  • Recover


The Identify Function looks for any potential breaches in your system, including policies, outdated software, employees without the proper security, and infrastructure risks.


The Protect Function seeks to solve problems discovered during the Identify stage. It includes activities like:

  • Controlling access to data.
  • Training staff members.
  • Updating software.
  • Replacing or adding hardware.
  • Making cybersecurity maintenance an ongoing task.


Protecting against today’s threats will not keep your organization safe forever. The Detect Function provides ongoing security scans to identify anomalies, determine the threat levels of anomalies, and verify the business’s ability to defend itself from potential security threats.


After detecting cybersecurity threats, businesses must respond to the event. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework’s Respond Function involves:

  • Managing communication between stakeholders, law enforcement, and other affected parties.
  • Creating a response planning process that addresses the incident.
  • Using appropriate mitigation strategies to lessen the impact and resolve incidents.
  • Determining the impact of the incident.


The Recover Function puts a plan in place to help everyone within your organization get back to normal. Important steps include:

  • Communicating to department heads and stakeholders when they can return to their typical operations.
  • Staying in contact with members of the recovery team to ensure all issues get addressed.
  • Documenting each step of the recovery plan.
  • Focusing on core services that must function before your company can recover secondary services, apps, and hardware.

Case Studies for NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework has worked well for many organizations. The University of Pittsburgh, for example, used the framework to:

  • Explore existing security flaws in every department.
  • Determine whether departments stored sensitive data.
  • Develop a plan that fit the university’s unique needs, including those related to risk management methodologies, closing gaps, creating a detailed list of assets, and forming a mitigation and remediation plan that will lessen damage during and after an attack.

Other NIST Cybersecurity Framework success stories include:

  • The Government of Bermuda
  • The Israel National Cyber Directorate
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Kansas Medical Center
  • The Japanese Cross-Sector Forum

Get the Cybersecurity Services You Deserve

CPI Solutions provides a range of cybersecurity services, including security consulting, security assessments, SIEM monitoring, and strategic infrastructure rebuilding.

Contact CPI Solutions to learn more about how our team can protect your business from cybersecurity threats. Our experts can help you develop a plan that will protect your data and business processes. We can also form a recovery plan that will get you operational as quickly as possible after a successful attack.

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