If you're not a technology expert, cyber security can feel just as confusing as trying to understand where babies come from when you were a kid. However, cyber security doesn't have to be a pipe dream. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Cyber Security Framework (CSF) can help you take the first step toward understanding what cyber security is and how to protect your organisation.

So, what exactly is the NIST CSF?

The NIST CSF is a set of guidelines and best practices for improving cyber security within organisations. This framework is designed to help organisations better manage and improve their cyber security programs. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it can be customised to meet the specific needs of any organisation regardless of size or industry.

The 5 Elements of NIST CSF

To get started, let’s understand the five functions of the CSF:


This function asserts that it’s essential for organisations to recognise their cyber security risks before being able to attend to them. To accomplish this, you must be aware of your assets, systems and data. You also must know who your users are and their respective roles.

Additionally, you must understand the business processes required to support the critical missions and business functions.


To protect your organisation's data and systems, you need to have robust security controls in place. These controls should be designed to detect, prevent and mitigate attacks.

The security controls you implement will differ based on your specific needs, but some effective ones include firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems and encryption. You can help protect your organisation from cyber attacks by implementing necessary security controls.


Organisations need to detect cyber security events in a short span of time so that they can take action and mitigate the risks. This starts with having full visibility into your networks and systems, as well as the ability to monitor events. You also need to have the tools and processes in place to respond to events quickly and effectively.


An organisation’s response to a cyber security incident can be the difference between a minor setback and a complete collapse. A well-executed response plan will help your organisation minimise the damage of an incident and get back to business as quickly as possible.


This element ensures that an organisation can recover from a security incident quickly and effectively. This includes having a recovery plan to restore any lost data and get the systems back up and running. It is also critical to have a communications plan in place so that employees know what to do if an incident occurs.

Recovery is an essential component of any security program and is not to be overlooked. You can help ensure your organisation is ready in the event of an incident by planning ahead of time.

An IT service provider can help

While the NIST CSF is a robust, comprehensive framework for cyber security, your business may not need to implement the entire framework.

An IT service provider like us can help you choose the required principles from the CSF to apply to your specific use case.

Our experience and expertise are just what you need to protect your business from ever-growing cyber threats.

Contact us today at (02) 9114 9920 or reach out online to get started!

To learn more, download our infographic “Understanding the NIST Cyber Security Framework for Your Business”.