Top 11 IT Security Frameworks to Consider

IT Security Frameworks

Information security management covers a wide range of topics, including application security, perimeter defense, encryption, and disaster recovery. Compliance laws like Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR make IT security more difficult.

IT security standards might be useful in this situation. All information security and cybersecurity workers need to be familiar with laws, standards, and frameworks. From the standpoint of an audit, compliance with these principles and standards is essential.

Top 11 IT Security Frameworks

Let’s examine IT security standards, laws, and frameworks, as well as some of the more well-liked choices available and how they are applied, to aid in managing the procedure.

1: ISO 27000

IOS, the International Organisation for Standardisation, created the ISO 27000 Series. It is an adaptable framework for information security that can be used by businesses of different shapes and sizes.

The ISO 27001 and 27002 standards, which are the two main ones, specify the conditions and steps for developing an information security management system (ISMS). An essential audit and compliance activity is having an ISMS.

The criteria for the ISMS programme are defined by ISO 27000, which also includes an overview and terminology. The code of practice for creating ISMS controls is outlined in ISO 27002.

The ISO 27000 Series standards are verified through audit and certification procedures, which are normally offered by independent companies recognized by ISO and other regulatory bodies.


Executive Order 13636 directed NIST to create the NIST Framework to enhance the Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity or NIST CSF. It was created to solve crucial elements of the American infrastructure, including transportation, communications, and the generation of energy and water.

Due to their significance, these industries have all been targeted by nation-state actors, hence they must all maintain a high degree of readiness.

NIST CSF focuses on risk analysis and risk management, in contrast to other NIST frameworks. The framework’s security measures are based on the five risk management phases of identification, protection, detection, response, and recovery. 

3: CIS

Technical security and operational controls that may be used in every setting are included in the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Critical Security Controls, Version 8 (formerly the SANS Top 20).

It is entirely focused on lowering risk and boosting resilience for technological infrastructures, rather than addressing risk analysis or risk management like NIST CSF.

4: NIST SP 800

A sizable collection of IT standards, many of which are information security-related, have been created by NIST. The NIST SP 800 Series, which was first released in 1990, covers almost every facet of information security with an increasing emphasis on cloud security.

The information security standard utilized by U.S. government entities is NIST SP 800-53, which is also frequently applied in the private sector. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework and other information security frameworks have benefited from the implementation of SP 800-53. (CSF).


Along with operational requirements, the HITRUST Common Security Framework also contains standards for risk analysis and risk management. Healthcare organizations may use the framework, which includes 14 separate control types, in nearly any type of organization.

Due to the importance placed on paperwork and processes by HITRUST, every company must undertake a significant effort to comply. As a result, many businesses find themselves narrowing the scope of their HITRUST priorities.

The expense of HITRUST certification, as well as its maintenance of it, raises the amount of effort needed to use this framework. An additional degree of legitimacy is added by the third-party audit of the certification.

6: NIST SP 800-171

Although less specific and more generic, the controls incorporated in the NIST SP 800-171 framework are intimately connected to NIST SP 800-53.

If a company needs to demonstrate compliance with NIST SP 800-53, a crosswalk between the two standards can be created using NIST SP 800-171 as the foundation.

Smaller firms now have more flexibility since they may use the extra controls in NIST SP 800-53 to demonstrate compliance as they expand.

Due to demands made by the US Department of Defence on contractor adherence to security standards, NIST SP 800-171 has grown in prominence. 


To safeguard the security and privacy of the personal information of EU individuals, worldwide enterprises must fulfill the GDPR framework of security criteria.

The GDPR requires access control methods including least privilege, role-based access, and multifactor authentication, as well as safeguards for limiting unauthorized access to stored data.

8: NIST SP 1800

The NIST SP 800 Series of standards and frameworks is complemented by the NIST SP 1800 Series of manuals. The publications in the SP 1800 Series provide guidance on how to use standards-based cybersecurity solutions in practical settings.

The publications in the SP 1800 Series offer examples of particular circumstances and capabilities, experience-based, how-to approaches using a variety of products to produce the desired result, etc. 


COSO is a collaborative effort between five professional associations. Internal controls are covered by its 2013 framework, while risk management is covered by its 2017 framework.

The “Managing Cyber Risk in a Digital Age” guideline document includes suggestions on how to anticipate and counteract business cyber risks. The COSO Enterprise Risk Management Framework is in accordance with it.


COBIT was created in the middle of the 1990s by ISACA, a non-profit group of experts in IT governance. The renowned Certified Information Systems Auditor and Certified Information Security Manager credentials are offered by ISACA.

Initially, the goal of COBIT was to lower IT risks. In COBIT 5, which was introduced in 2012, new business and technological developments are added to aid firms in balancing IT and business objectives. COBIT 2019 is the most recent version.

The most popular framework for achieving Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is this one. The criteria of COBIT are covered in several books and professional certifications.


The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a piece of US law that harmonizes the information management practices of healthcare institutions.

This law changed to incorporate the HIPAA Security Rule as information technology started to dominate the sector.

This regulation mandates that healthcare organizations and providers uphold the privacy, accuracy, and security of electronically protected health information (ePHI).

Signing Off

Increasing the industry’s resistance to cyberattacks is the main objective of the majority of cybersecurity frameworks.

They accomplish this by utilizing the framework recommendations to assist even the smallest firms in implementing strong security measures.

Smaller businesses would generally be unable to afford the professionals engaged in setting these standards, but the framework makes it feasible for everyone to gain from their experience.

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