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Do I need to adopt a cybersecurity framework?

A comprehensive cybersecurity framework can help businesses avoid costly attacks. But there are other advantages.

In general, it's advisable for every organization to adopt a cybersecurity framework. The exact framework will depend on the business itself. In some cases, frameworks are necessary to comply with government or commercial regulatory standards that must be met. In other situations, framework adoption is completely voluntary.

That said, even small businesses can gain peace of mind by following guidance and best practices contained within a framework. With it, you can better understand the various areas within data security and protection that need be addressed. As a result, even IT departments with a relatively low level of cybersecurity aptitude can learn what it takes to be secure.

Many cybersecurity frameworks are highly customizable, and they can be designed to fit the needs and risks of most any organization. They can be adjusted so they begin with the basics of cybersecurity -- then grow along with the business. Thus, it takes relatively little to get started, and your framework can expand with your needs. A voluntary cybersecurity framework is also useful as a precursor to when you might be required to put into place a cybersecurity action plan in the future. If your company eventually expands to the point where it must adhere to PCI DSS security requirements -- or needs to adopt compliance to improve trustworthiness when handling client data -- having even the most basic framework already in place helps prepare a business for more complex designs and processes in the months and years to come.

This was last published in June 2019

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