Blue Goat Cyber is an authorized CIS (Center for Internet Security) partner, certified and trained to provide our Enterprise Cybersecurity Audit based on v8 of the CIS Top 18 Controls.
The CIS Critical Security Controls (CIS Controls) are a prescriptive, prioritized, and simplified set of best practices used to strengthen organizational cybersecurity posture. CIS is used by thousands of cybersecurity practitioners worldwide to assess organizational cybersecurity maturity against a common multi-factor model.
A CIS v8 audit outcome is an IG (Implementation Group) rating. Upon completion of this audit, we will calculate your company’s IG rating on a scale of 1-3, along with an explanation of how to improve your rating.
Please schedule a 30-minute Discovery Session with us so we can best understand your objectives.
In an era where digital threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, the importance of robust cybersecurity measures has never been greater. Organizations of all sizes find themselves in a relentless battle against cyber threats, striving to protect their digital assets and maintain the trust of their stakeholders. This challenging landscape calls for a strategic approach to cybersecurity that is adaptable, comprehensive, and aligned with each organization’s specific needs and capabilities.
To understand the background of CIS Controls, it is essential to trace their origins back to 2001. The SANS Institute and the FBI joined forces to establish the CIS Controls as the Top 20 Critical Controls. These guidelines were initially called the SANS Top 20 and were a foundational framework for enhancing data security.
Recognizing the need for continuous improvement and maintenance, the responsibility for the CIS Controls was transferred to the Center for Internet Security (CIS) in 2015. Under the CIS's stewardship, the guidelines transformed, rebranding the controls as the CIS Critical Security Controls. Over time, this name was shortened to 'CIS Controls,' which is synonymous with effective cybersecurity practices.
The CIS Controls Version 8, developed by the CIS, represents the culmination of collective knowledge and expertise from a global community of cybersecurity professionals. This set of best practices and guidelines offers organizations a prioritized path toward a stronger cybersecurity posture. What sets the CIS Controls apart is their adaptability to organizations of various sizes and risk profiles, primarily through their Implementation Groups (IGs).
To delve into the critical aspects of the CIS Controls Version 8, this blog post will explore its structured approach, highlighting the Implementation Groups' significance and alignment with organizational maturity levels. By understanding these elements, organizations can gain a realistic and effective blueprint for cybersecurity. The post will delve into the detailed nuances of the 18 CIS Controls, illustrating their strategic importance through a case study of Blue Goat Cyber, a cybersecurity service provider. This real-world scenario will demonstrate the practical application of the CIS Controls and their ability to defend against current threats while preparing for the challenges of tomorrow’s digital landscape.
As we navigate the complexities of cybersecurity, the CIS Controls Version 8 emerges as a beacon, guiding organizations to bolster their defenses and fortify their resilience against evolving cyber threats. With its rich background and comprehensive approach, the CIS Controls offer organizations a transformative framework to safeguard their digital assets and maintain trust in an increasingly interconnected world.
Various organizations and institutions utilize CIS Controls to enhance their cybersecurity posture. Among the notable users are the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Corden Pharma, Boeing, Citizens Property Insurance, Butler Health System, University of Massachusetts, and various governmental bodies such as the states of Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona, as well as the cities of Portland and San Diego. Nevertheless, these representative examples are just a fraction of the widespread adoption, as many other entities from various sectors have also embraced the CIS Controls. This popularity is evident because, as of May 1, 2017, the CIS Controls had been downloaded over 70,000 times, indicating a broad base of users who recognize the value of implementing these guidelines for their cybersecurity needs.
The Implementation Groups (IGs) within the CIS Controls framework are an innovative approach to cybersecurity designed to accommodate organizations of various sizes and capabilities. These groups align with an organization’s cybersecurity maturity levels, providing a clear roadmap for implementing and enhancing cybersecurity practices.
The maturity level of an organization reflects its current state in terms of cybersecurity sophistication and capabilities. Aligning the IGs with these maturity levels ensures that organizations focus on the most appropriate and effective cybersecurity practices for their specific stage of development.
IG1 for Initial Maturity:
Targeted at organizations at the beginning of their cybersecurity journey, IG1 focuses on foundational cybersecurity practices. These include basic asset management, secure configurations, and fundamental access controls.
For organizations at this stage, cybersecurity audits concentrate on assessing the implementation of these essential controls, providing a solid base for cybersecurity maturity.
IG2 for Developing Maturity:
As organizations evolve and face more complex cybersecurity challenges, IG2 introduces additional controls. These are designed for mid-sized organizations with moderate resources, focusing on more robust measures like advanced access control, data protection, and vulnerability management.
Audits at this stage are more comprehensive, evaluating both the foundational controls from IG1 and the additional practices outlined in IG2.
IG3 for Advanced Maturity:
For large or highly targeted organizations with substantial cybersecurity resources, IG3 encompasses all 18 CIS Controls. This group addresses the needs of organizations with a sophisticated approach to cybersecurity, including advanced threat detection, incident response, and penetration testing.
Audits for these organizations are the most extensive, assessing the full range of CIS Controls and focusing on advanced security practices and strategic cybersecurity management.
Cybersecurity audits based on CIS Controls are tailored to the organization’s IG and maturity level. This ensures the audit is relevant, actionable, and proportionate to the organization’s capabilities and risk exposure.
In addition to the Implementation Groups and their correspondence to maturity levels, CIS Controls version 8 introduces several important updates. The folks at CIS recognized the need to adapt to the changing landscape of cybersecurity and have made significant revisions to emphasize the basics and focus on what truly makes a difference.
Version 8 of the CIS Controls presents a significant overhaul compared to its predecessor, version 7. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) made comprehensive revisions to the controls, aiming to enhance security measures and simplify guidelines.
To achieve these objectives, CIS started from the ground up by completely redesigning the CIS Controls. This resulted in more clearly defined controls and simplified guidelines. A notable change in version 8 is reordering the controls based on activities. This new arrangement helps organizations better apply the principles of the security controls, allowing for flexibility in their implementation across various environments.
Recognizing the evolving system design landscape, CIS incorporated guidance for managing service providers and cloud solutions into version 8. CIS collaborated with SafeCode, a trusted partner in secure application and software development, to ensure these guidelines are robust.
An advantageous feature of the CIS Controls is that they can be organized into Implementation Groups (IG), which prioritize the controls and their safeguards. By following the IG structure, organizations can focus on achieving minimum baseline cybersecurity hygiene in IG1. They can then progressively build upon this foundation by implementing controls and safeguards from IG2 and IG3, enabling them to develop a more comprehensive security posture. This systematic approach simplifies the process for organizations, allowing them to determine where to begin and work towards higher security levels.
As we delve into the intricate world of cybersecurity, the CIS Controls Version 8 emerges as a guiding light, empowering organizations to defend against today's ever-evolving threats and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow's digital landscape. With the CIS Controls Version 8, the Center for Internet Security (CIS) has taken a momentous step towards refining cybersecurity practices, aligning them with the dynamic nature of cyber threats and technological advancements.
This latest version represents a significant evolution in cybersecurity, offering a prioritized and adaptable framework that enhances an organization's overall cybersecurity posture. Developed by the CIS, these controls have undergone a meticulous redesign, resulting in a comprehensive and streamlined set of guidelines.
The CIS Controls Version 8 places a strong emphasis on simplicity and clarity. The controls have been meticulously redefined from scratch, ensuring they are better defined and easier to understand. By restructuring the controls based on activities, the new version enables organizations to apply them more effectively, catering to the diverse needs and unique environments in which they operate.
By providing a flexible framework, the CIS Controls Version 8 empowers organizations to tailor their cybersecurity strategies to meet specific requirements. Rather than dictating how security controls should be applied, this version offers organizations the freedom to adapt and implement the controls that best align with their unique circumstances.
The number of cybersecurity incidents continues to climb. The variety of attacks continues to grow. It is no longer a question of if you will have a cyber event.