Table of Contents
  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • 10 Cybersecurity Frameworks to Know
May 15, 2024

10 Cybersecurity Frameworks to Know

Top 10 Cybersecurity Frameworks for GRC Experts

Cybersecurity frameworks provide organizations with a structured approach to managing information security risks and compliance requirements. These frameworks offer guidelines, standards, and best practices to help companies protect sensitive data, detect and respond to cyber threats, and meet regulatory obligations. In this article, we'll explore 10 widely-used cybersecurity frameworks that every GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) professional should be familiar with.

1. NIST 800-39

The NIST Special Publication 800-39 is a risk management framework that provides a holistic view of information security risk management. Unlike a checklist approach, NIST 800-39 takes a three-tiered approach to risk management:

  1. Organizational tier

  2. Business process tier

  3. Information system tier

By addressing risk at each tier, organizations can better understand and manage risks in the context of their business objectives and culture. NIST 800-39 emphasizes the importance of considering people, processes, and technology when assessing and mitigating information security risks.

2. SOC 2

SOC 2 is a widely-recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to help service organizations, including software companies, demonstrate their commitment to security and build trust with their clients. A SOC 2 report includes an independent auditor's assessment of a company's controls related to one or more of the five trust service categories:

  • Security

  • Availability

  • Confidentiality

  • Processing Integrity

  • Privacy

SOC 2 reports come in two types: Type 1 (Assesses the design of the service organization's controls at a specific point in time.) and Type 2 (Assesses both the design and operating effectiveness of the controls over a period of time, typically 6-12 months.). Obtaining a SOC 2 report has become essential for businesses operating in the United States, as it helps establish credibility and meet client requirements.


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a U.S. federal law that sets standards for protecting sensitive patient health information, known as Protected Health Information (PHI), from unauthorized disclosure. HIPAA applies to covered entities, which include health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and healthcare providers who electronically transmit health information, as well as their business associates.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule governs the use and disclosure of PHI, while the HIPAA Security Rule focuses on safeguarding electronic PHI (ePHI). Covered entities and business associates must implement appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI. Non-compliance with HIPAA can result in significant fines and reputational damage.


The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of security requirements designed to ensure that all companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Developed by the major credit card brands, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and JCB, PCI DSS applies to any organization that handles cardholder data, regardless of size or number of transactions.

PCI DSS compliance is divided into four levels based on the annual number of credit or debit card transactions processed. Each level has specific requirements for assessment and reporting, such as annual on-site assessments, self-assessment questionnaires, and quarterly network scans. The PCI DSS framework outlines six broad goals and 12 requirements for securely handling cardholder data and maintaining a secure network.


The NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) is a voluntary framework designed to help organizations manage and reduce cybersecurity risks. Developed through a collaborative effort between the U.S. government and the private sector, the NIST CSF is widely adopted by organizations of all sizes and industries.

The framework is organized into five core functions:

  1. Identify

  2. Protect

  3. Detect

  4. Respond

  5. Recover

Under each function, there are 23 categories and 108 subcategories that provide a set of desired outcomes and security controls. The NIST CSF also includes implementation tiers and profiles to help organizations assess their current cybersecurity posture and prioritize improvements based on their unique risks and objectives.

6. FedRAMP

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is a U.S. government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Cloud service providers (CSPs) that want to offer their solutions to federal agencies must achieve FedRAMP compliance.

FedRAMP is based on the NIST 800-53 security controls and requires CSPs to undergo a rigorous third-party assessment conducted by a FedRAMP-accredited Third Party Assessment Organization (3PAO). Once a CSP demonstrates compliance with FedRAMP requirements, they can receive an Authority to Operate (ATO) from a federal agency or a Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) from the Joint Authorization Board (JAB).


The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Security, Trust, Assurance, and Risk (STAR) program is a framework specifically designed for cloud service providers. CSA STAR encompasses the CSA Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM), a cybersecurity control framework that covers key aspects of cloud technology across 17 domains and 197 control objectives.

CSA STAR offers two levels of assurance:

  1. Level 1: Self-assessment using the Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ) and a privacy assessment

  2. Level 2: Third-party assessment through a STAR Attestation (based on SOC 2) or STAR Certification (based on ISO/IEC 27001)

By achieving CSA STAR compliance, cloud providers can demonstrate their commitment to security and transparency, building trust with their customers.

8. SOX

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is a U.S. federal law enacted in 2002 to protect investors from fraudulent financial reporting by corporations. SOX requires publicly traded companies to establish and maintain adequate internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR) and disclose any material weaknesses.

From a cybersecurity perspective, SOX compliance involves:

  • Ensuring the security of financial data

  • Preventing unauthorized tampering of financial data

  • Tracking data breach attempts and remediation efforts

  • Maintaining event logs for auditors and demonstrating compliance in 90-day cycles

GRC professionals at publicly traded companies must understand the impact of SOX on their organization and support financial teams in implementing and maintaining appropriate data security controls.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data privacy law that came into effect in the European Union (EU) on May 25, 2018. GDPR sets strict requirements for the collection, processing, and protection of personal data belonging to EU citizens.

Under GDPR, organizations are classified as data controllers (entities that determine the purposes and means of processing personal data) or data processors (entities that process personal data on behalf of controllers). Both controllers and processors have specific obligations, with controllers bearing more responsibility for ensuring compliance.

GDPR applies to any organization that processes the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of the organization's location. Non-compliance can result in substantial fines (up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater) and reputational damage.

10. ISO/IEC 27001

ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard for information security management systems (ISMS) published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The standard outlines requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an ISMS within the context of an organization.

ISO/IEC 27001 is divided into two main parts:

  1. Clauses 0-10: Mandatory requirements for ISMS implementation

  2. Annex A: 114 controls organized across 14 sections (A.5-A.18)

Organizations can achieve ISO/IEC 27001 certification by demonstrating compliance with the standard's requirements through an independent audit. This certification is widely recognized worldwide and can help organizations build trust with clients and partners, particularly in international markets.

We hope this post helped in understanding 10 the most important Cybersecurity Frameworks. Thanks for reading this post. Please share this post and help secure the digital world. Visit our website,, and our social media page on FacebookLinkedInTwitterTelegramTumblrMedium, and Instagram and subscribe to receive updates like this.  

Arun KL

Arun KL is a cybersecurity professional with 15+ years of experience in IT infrastructure, cloud security, vulnerability management, Penetration Testing, security operations, and incident response. He is adept at designing and implementing robust security solutions to safeguard systems and data. Arun holds multiple industry certifications including CCNA, CCNA Security, RHCE, CEH, and AWS Security.

Recently added

Cloud & OS Platforms

View All

Learn More About Cyber Security Security & Technology

“Knowledge Arsenal: Empowering Your Security Journey through Continuous Learning”

Cybersecurity All-in-One For Dummies - 1st Edition

"Cybersecurity All-in-One For Dummies" offers a comprehensive guide to securing personal and business digital assets from cyber threats, with actionable insights from industry experts.



View All

Learn Something New with Free Email subscription