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Blog > Fortify Cybersecurity with CIS Controls

Fortify Cybersecurity with CIS Controls

VComply Editorial Team
August 30, 2023
4 minutes

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) controls are a set of cybersecurity best practices and guidelines that organizations can implement to enhance their security posture. Developed through a consensus-driven process involving industry experts, these controls provide a prioritized framework for addressing common security risks.

By following the CIS controls, organizations can establish a solid cybersecurity baseline, reduce vulnerabilities, and mitigate potential threats. The controls are regularly updated to adapt to emerging risks and technologies, making them a valuable resource for organizations striving to protect their digital assets and sensitive information.

List of CIS Controls, Version 7

Here is a list of the 20 Center for Internet Security (CIS) Controls Version 7:

  • Inventory and Control of Hardware Assets
  • Inventory and Control of Software Assets
  • Continuous Vulnerability Management
  • Controlled Use of Administrative Privileges
  • Secure Configuration for Hardware and Software on Mobile Devices, Laptops, Workstations, and Servers
  • Maintenance, Monitoring, and Analysis of Audit Logs
  • Email and Web Browser Protections
  • Malware Defenses
  • Limitation and Control of Network Ports, Protocols, and Services
  • Data Recovery Capabilities
  • Secure Configuration for Network Devices, such as Firewalls, Routers, and Switches
  • Boundary Defense
  • Data Protection
  • Controlled Access Based on the Need to Know
  • Wireless Access Control
  • Account Monitoring and Control
  • Implement a Security Awareness and Training Program
  • Application Software Security
  • Incident Response and Management
  • Penetration Tests and Red Team Exercises
    These controls provide a comprehensive framework to protect organizations from a wide range of cybersecurity threats and risks.

The Significance of CIS Controls

The CIS controls are important for several reasons:

Cybersecurity Baseline: The CIS controls provide a well-established baseline for organizations to assess and improve their cybersecurity posture. They serve as a framework of best practices that address common security risks and help organizations establish a solid foundation for their security programs.

Risk Reduction: Implementing the CIS controls can significantly reduce the risk of cybersecurity incidents and breaches. By following the controls, organizations can proactively identify vulnerabilities, establish proper configurations, and implement security measures to mitigate potential threats.

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Many industries have regulatory requirements and compliance frameworks that mandate the implementation of specific security controls. The CIS controls align with several regulatory standards, making them a valuable resource for organizations aiming to achieve compliance.

Prioritized Approach: The CIS controls are organized in a prioritized manner, allowing organizations to focus on the most critical security measures first. This helps organizations allocate their resources effectively and address the highest-risk areas first.

Industry Consensus: The CIS controls are developed through a collaborative process involving experts from various sectors, government agencies, and organizations worldwide. This consensus-driven approach ensures that the controls reflect industry best practices and the collective knowledge of cybersecurity professionals.

Continuous Improvement: The CIS controls are periodically updated to adapt to evolving cybersecurity threats and technologies. By staying aligned with the latest version, organizations can continually improve their security measures and keep pace with emerging risks.

Framework Flexibility: The CIS controls provide a flexible framework that can be adapted to suit different organizational sizes, industries, and security requirements. Organizations can tailor the controls to their specific needs while ensuring they cover the essential security areas.

Vendor Agnostic: The CIS controls are designed to be vendor-agnostic, meaning they can be applied to various hardware, software, and network environments. This allows organizations to adopt the controls regardless of their technology stack or vendor choices.

Overall, the CIS controls offer a comprehensive and practical approach to cybersecurity, helping organizations establish effective security practices, reduce risks, and enhance their resilience against evolving threats.

Ensure Comprehensive Security with CIS V7

To achieve CIS V7, organizations can follow these steps:

  1. Familiarize Yourself: Understand the CIS Controls Version 7 framework, its purpose, and its implementation guidelines. Access the CIS website or related resources to obtain the necessary documentation.
  2. Assess Current State: Evaluate your organization’s existing cybersecurity measures against the CIS Controls V7. Identify any gaps or areas where improvements are needed.
  3. Prioritize Controls: Determine which of the 20 CIS Controls are most relevant and critical for your organization based on factors such as the nature of your business, regulatory requirements, and risk assessments.
  4. Develop an Action Plan: Create a roadmap outlining the specific actions and steps required to implement each prioritized control. Define responsibilities, timelines, and resource requirements.
  5. Implement Controls: Begin implementing the prioritized CIS Controls. This may involve activities such as configuring security settings, updating software and systems, implementing access controls, and establishing incident response procedures.
  6. Monitor and Measure: Continuously monitor and measure the effectiveness of the implemented controls. Regularly assess and review their performance, making adjustments as necessary to ensure optimal security.
  7. Automate where Possible: Leverage cybersecurity tools and software to automate aspects of control implementation, monitoring, and reporting. This can enhance efficiency and accuracy while reducing manual effort.
  8. Training and Awareness: Provide cybersecurity training and awareness programs for employees to ensure they understand their roles and responsibilities in maintaining the CIS Controls V7 requirements.
  9. Regular Auditing and Compliance Checks: Conduct periodic audits and compliance checks to validate that the implemented controls align with the CIS Controls V7 and are being effectively maintained.
  10. Continuous Improvement: Continuously evaluate emerging threats, technological advancements, and changes in the regulatory landscape. Update your cybersecurity practices accordingly to stay aligned with the latest version of the CIS Controls and evolving best practices.

By following these steps, organizations can work towards achieving the CIS Controls V7 and enhance their cybersecurity resilience.

Strengthen Your Organization’s Compliance Performance Using VComply’s Integrated GRC Approach

The VComply GRC platform offers a comprehensive view of risk management, internal audit, compliance, and internal controls across the entire organization. It provides a centralized framework that maps risks to various data elements, such as compliance requirements and internal controls allowing users to view risks holistically and contextually.

VComply also standardizes risk, and compliance and controls taxonomies, making communication and reporting on risks more consistent across teams. This eliminates duplication of effort and information, allowing for optimal efficiency. The product simplifies control testing, oversight, and evidence management with systematic workflows, rationalizing controls, and reducing compliance efforts and costs. Real-time reporting enables teams to deliver swift assurance around various compliance frameworks, strengthening stakeholder confidence.
It lets organizations conduct compliance risk assessments periodically or more frequently in case of significant changes to the risk profile or changes in compliance laws and regulations. The platform also simplifies regulatory change tracking by allowing the company to map regulatory obligations to policies, risks, and controls.

VComply offers a centralized repository for policy management, allowing the company to easily store and access the latest policies. This has helped streamline and simplify the creation and communication of organizational policies. Additionally, mapping policies to regulations, risks, and controls has significantly strengthened compliance while highlighting potential risks.

VComply Internal Audit Management helps the company improve its audit productivity while quickly identifying and responding to risks. The product supports a risk-based approach to auditing, enabling teams to prioritize and direct audit resources to the highest-risk areas. By integrating auditing with compliance, teams across both functions can effectively coordinate control testing activities to minimize redundancies. The platform also strengthens visibility into audit findings, helping the audit team deliver valued, trusted advice to the board and leadership.

VComply’s powerful analytics, reports, and dashboards give the organization in-depth visibility into risks, internal audit results,  compliance findings, and internal controls. Decision-makers can leverage rich visualizations of the data to understand the top risks, issues, and opportunities, across risk, internal audit, compliance, and more. The result is a strategic view of the company’s overall governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) posture, enabling leadership teams to make better-informed decisions.

VComply is a cost-effective GRC system that allows you to establish internal controls to alleviate your operational and compliance risks.  It also helps you streamline your compliance and governance processes. Request a demo today to learn more about how VComply can help your business and ensure comprehensive security with CIS V7.