CIS Security Controls: What You Should Know

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Did you know that cybercrime will cost businesses a staggering $8 trillion annually by 2023? That’s more than the GDP of countries like Spain and Italy! Clearly, businesses need to take steps to protect themselves from cybercrime.

To protect themselves, many organizations rely on CIS security controls.

But what exactly are CIS critical security controls, and why are so many businesses relying on them as a method of devising an information security policy?

In this blog post, we will discuss what CIS security controls are, why businesses use them, how to use them and some common issues most people would face when trying to implement them.

What Are CIS Controls?

The acronym CIS stands for Center for Internet Security, and they are a not-for-profit organization that specializes in cybersecurity operating as a kind of information sharing and analysis center for cybersecurity best practices.


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They develop CIS hardening standards for various systems, and these standards are often used as the basis for many businesses’ security policies and cyber defense strategies.

Why Do Businesses Use CIS Security Controls? 

Similar to the NIST cybersecurity framework, CIS controls are considered to be a top industry standard for cybersecurity policy creation. Not only do they offer guidelines on how to improve an organization’s cybersecurity, but internet security CIS controls also provide a framework for assessing and measuring the effectiveness of information security measures.

CIS Guidelines Explained

CIS controls are divided into three categories: Basic, Foundational, and Organizational.

The basic controls consist of the most critical security measures that should be implemented first, such as inventorying hardware and software and controlling access to systems.

The foundational controls build upon the basic ones with additional measures like maintaining an incident response plan and data recovery strategy.

Finally, the organizational controls focus on developing a comprehensive cybersecurity program within the organization.

How to Create a CIS Policy for Your Business

Creating a CIS security policy for your business requires taking inventory of all the hardware and software in use, as well as identifying potential threats. From there, you can prioritize which CIS controls to implement first based on the level of risk they mitigate.

Employee training is also crucial in ensuring that everyone understands and follows the security measures put in place. Regular assessments of your security benchmarks and updates to the policy are necessary to keep up with changing technologies and threats.

Some Common Issues with Implementing CIS Controls  

Implementing CIS security controls requires coordination from the entire organization, from upper management to individual employees. It’s important for everyone in the organization to understand their roles and responsibilities in maintaining proper cybersecurity protocols, for the sake of effective critical security management.

One common issue businesses face when implementing CIS controls is a lack of resources and budget. Cybersecurity measures in the pursuit of meeting CIS benchmarks can be expensive to implement, and it’s important for organizations to prioritize their needs and allocate funds accordingly.


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Another issue is the potential for human error. Even with proper training, employees may accidentally leave themselves vulnerable to cyberattacks by neglecting security protocols, engaging in multi-state information sharing or falling victim to phishing scams.

It’s important for organizations to continuously educate and remind employees about cybersecurity best practices, which holds true for networks in both the public and private sector.

Implementing CIS security controls can seem overwhelming at first, but taking the time to devise a comprehensive information security plan will go a long way in protecting your business from costly cyber attacks.

CIS Security Controls

Choosing Protek to Help Implement Your CIS Cybersecurity Policy

At Protek, we understand the importance of information security and staying up-to-date with industry-standard protocols like CIS controls.

We offer a variety of cost-effective services to help businesses protect themselves from cyber threats, including vulnerability assessments, end user security awareness training, and managed network security.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist your organization in implementing CIS security controls.


Frequently Asked Questions about CIS Security Controls

What are CIS Controls and why are they important?

CIS Controls are a set of best practices for securing computer systems and networks. They were developed by the Center for Internet Security (CIS) to provide a framework for organizations to improve their security posture. The controls are important because they help organizations mitigate common cyber threats and protect against data breaches, which can be costly and damaging to an organization’s reputation.

How many CIS security controls are there?

There are 20 CIS security controls that cover a wide range of security measures, including inventory and control of hardware and software assets, secure configuration of systems, continuous vulnerability management, and incident response.

How often should CIS security controls be reviewed and updated?

CIS security controls should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that they remain effective against evolving cyber threats. Protek Support can provide ongoing support and monitoring to help organizations maintain their security posture over time.

Who should implement CIS security controls?

CIS security controls can be implemented by any organization that wants to improve their cyber security. These controls are particularly relevant for organizations that handle sensitive information, such as financial or healthcare data.