To celebrate Cyber Awareness Month, we’re releasing a series of posts outlining ways Cybersecurity Performance Management (CPM)TM can help you improve your cyber performance, reduce risk, and increase cyber ROI—all through the lens of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF). Last week, we talked about the “Protect” Security Function, which you can find here.
We’ll take you from the basics of CPM through to advanced practices with a weekly series of blogs posts that chronical how CPM helps your organization align itself with each of the CSF’s Security Functions to help you take actionable steps toward securing your digital future. We’ll be posting throughout the month, so make sure you’re following on LinkedIn and X to get the latest.
Cybersecurity Performance Management (CPM)
If you are new to CPM, we encourage you to check out a more in-depth blog here, where we break down what CPM is and how it fits into your organization.
But if you’re in a rush, no problem. What you need to know is that CPM is the framework for effective cybersecurity and resiliency tied to your organization’s strategic cyber objectives; measuring meaningful performance metrics (defined as Cybersecurity Performance Indicators (CPIs)) – over time.
As it relates to the Framework as a whole, think of CPM as a way to supercharge how your organization aligns and benefits from implementing CSF. CPM works across functions to facilitate the visibility needed for governance and risk management. By integrating CPM practices, organizations can enhance their cybersecurity posture, align security goals with the needs of the business, and proactively protect their systems, data, and assets.
NIST CSF “Identify” Function
The second security function and the focus of today’s post, “Identify”, is about increasing visibility into organizational cybersecurity performance and using those findings to mitigate cybersecurity risk. Some of what falls into the Identify security function includes identifying assets, understanding the business environment, assessing risks, and developing strategies to mitigate those risks. It also involves managing supply chain risks, defining cybersecurity policies, and providing cybersecurity awareness and training to employees.
How CPM Enhances Cybersecurity Controls in the Identify Function
Cybersecurity Performance Management is a vital component in addressing cybersecurity controls within the Identify Security Function of the NIST CSF. CPM establishes clear performance metrics and cybersecurity performance indicators (CPIs) to measure the effectiveness of cybersecurity controls, which in this case helps support current and future organizational cybersecurity policy, processes, and increased visibility into business risk. These metrics provide organizations with insights into their security posture and help identify areas that require improvement. Example CPIs your organization may consider are:
- Percentage of users not clicking on phishing email links to understand how well you are training your users,
- Percentage of scanned hosts in inventory to better identify gaps between your organizational IT asset inventory and what devices are found in the field, and
- Days since last inventory update to understand how well your team is following IT policy and updating your organizational asset inventory.
We have all of these key metrics and dozens more in our CPM automation platform CnSight. We have found that it can be difficult, ineffective, and costly for organizations to manage cyber metrics in spreadsheets or manual workflows, so we created CnSight to help organizations get started on their CPM journey. We want to make sure that CPM is an approachable avenue to a new way of approaching and understanding cybersecurity risk, and that is a much more manageable task when you utilize automation to simplify the process.
In closing–CPM is the first big step in supercharging your NIST CSF compliance. For more reading on CPM, and to learn about how CPM intertwines with the principles of Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA), check out our recent nSight Report: Are We There Yet? From Zero, to Zero Trust. In the report, we discuss in more detail how CPM and zero trust work together to effectively implement zero trust principles in a way that doesn’t leave either the business or security teams wanting.