NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0

An Insight into NIST’s Evolution:

To fully grasp the significance of NIST 2.0, it’s crucial to first comprehend its origins. National Institute of Standards and Technology has played a pivotal role in shaping cybersecurity standards, offering essential guidance and resources for federal agencies and organizations spanning diverse sectors. Its renowned frameworks, such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), have emerged as cornerstones in the cybersecurity realm, serving as trusted blueprints for establishing resilient cybersecurity protocols.

Let’s delve into the notable shifts from version 1.1 to 2.0 of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework:

The initial shift is evident right from the framework’s title, transitioning from the formal “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” to the more colloquial “Cybersecurity Framework.” NIST CSF 2.0 introduces 23 categories and 106 subcategories, a slight deviation from its predecessor which featured 22 categories and 108 subcategories. Notably, NIST CSF 2.0 introduces a fresh Governance function and underscores the importance of continual improvement, a pivot from version 1.1 which primarily emphasized technical controls. Version 2.0 places a heightened emphasis on integration with other frameworks and offers enhanced implementation guidance, a departure from the more constrained resource offerings of 1.1.

Exploring NIST 2.0 Innovations:

Top of FormNIST 2.0 marks a significant evolution tailored to benefit organizations of every stripe, regardless of size, industry, or geographical location. This updated version is engineered to cater to a diverse spectrum, spanning across various sectors including government, academia, non-profits, and beyond, irrespective of their cybersecurity program’s developmental stage. With a broadened scope and enhanced features, NIST 2.0 is poised to make a meaningful impact. One notable aspect of the update is its heightened emphasis on governance functions and improvements category within the identity function. This strategic shift underscores NIST’s commitment to addressing emerging challenges and evolving landscapes. Moreover, NIST 2.0 takes a proactive stance on emerging technologies like AI, recognizing the need to effectively manage associated risks. By providing insights and guidelines, it empowers organizations to navigate these dynamic landscapes with confidence and agility. A key highlight of NIST’s latest iteration is its comprehensive suite of quick start guides (QSGs), along with informative references and practical implementation examples, all tailored to streamline adoption and implementation processes. This curated collection serves as a valuable resource, equipping stakeholders with the tools and knowledge needed to bolster their cybersecurity initiatives effectively. In essence, NIST 2.0 represents a significant step forward, offering a robust framework and invaluable resources to fortify cybersecurity measures across diverse sectors and organizational landscapes.

Let’s delve into the essence of CSF 2.0, starting with a comprehensive overview:

CSF boasts a remarkable feature of adaptability, making it suitable for organizations of all sizes and sectors. Each organization’s approach to managing and implementing CSF will vary based on its unique risks, threats, vulnerabilities, and risk tolerance. Integration of CSF with other frameworks, standards, and best practices enhances the management and communication of cybersecurity risks to higher management at the enterprise level.

Key Components of CSF:

  • CSF Core: This comprises cybersecurity activities, desired outcomes, and applicable references to manage cybersecurity risks. It consists of four elements: Functions, Categories, Subcategories, and Informative References.
  • CSF Organization Profile: Reflects the alignment of organizational standards/practices with the CSF core, indicating the organization’s current cybersecurity posture and desired/target profile.
  • CSF Tiers: These reflect how organizations perceive risks and their confidence in the processes in place to manage those risks.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Functions:

  • Govern: The latest addition to CSF, govern informs organizations on implementing the other five functions. It aims to establish and monitor the organization’s cybersecurity risk management strategy, expectations, and policy. Categories within Govern include understanding organizational context, cybersecurity strategy establishment, supply chain risk management, roles/responsibilities/authorities, policy, and cybersecurity strategy oversight.
  • Identify: This function remains largely unchanged, focusing on strengthening the organization’s cybersecurity strategy and mission as identified under Govern. The addition of the Improvement category underscores the importance of continuously enhancing cybersecurity measures to adapt to system changes.
  • Protect: Incorporating necessary control measures and safeguards helps organizations prevent and reduce cybersecurity risks and threats. This includes providing user awareness to ensure resilience from physical to virtual infrastructure.
  • Detect: Emphasizing successful incident response and recovery activities, this function enables timely discovery and analysis of anomalies indicating cybersecurity attacks and incidents. Prompt detection allows for quicker response and damage mitigation.
  • Respond: This function addresses the organization’s readiness to respond to detected cybersecurity risks and threats, covering incident management, analysis, mitigation, reporting, and communication.
  • Recover: Ensuring the organization’s ability to recover quickly and efficiently from incidents, this function focuses on restoring affected assets and operations to achieve “business as usual” post addressing cybersecurity events.

NIST Focuses on Advancing Enterprise risk management (ERM) Adoption:

When it comes to handling the risks related to ICT, organizations often adopt varying strategies based on their unique characteristics, requirements, and ongoing risk management endeavours. While some organizations opt for specific frameworks and tools tailored to individual risks, others integrate ICT with broader risk management initiatives such as ERM. Still, some prefer monitoring risks at the enterprise level. NIST underscores the importance of embracing ERM, advocating that this approach provides organizations with a well-rounded strategy for managing risks, considering various factors, and making informed decisions. Moreover, it stresses the significance of presenting cybersecurity risks to executives, as this visibility is crucial for senior management to grasp the potential impacts at the enterprise level. Additionally, NIST highlights available resources elucidating the interrelationship between cybersecurity risk management and ERM. NIST’s Integration within Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Risk Management Programs: NIST places a strong emphasis on aligning the CSF with individual ICT risk management programs. Given the emergence of stringent privacy regulations, it has become imperative for organizations to address privacy risks alongside cybersecurity. Although cybersecurity and privacy are distinct, there are instances where their objectives intersect. NIST advocates integrating the NIST Privacy Framework with the CSF to effectively address and mitigate various risks associated with cybersecurity and privacy.

NIST’s Focus on Supply Chain:

In its latest iteration, NIST 2.0 underscores the criticality of cybersecurity within the supply chain. NIST advocates for comprehensive risk management programs for the supply chain, encompassing due diligence and risk assessments. Furthermore, it recommends integrating the “NIST CSF” with the “Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management Practices for Systems and Organizations” to effectively handle and mitigate cybersecurity risks associated with the supply chain.

NIST’s Emphasis on Emerging Technology (Artificial Intelligence):

The emergence of new technologies brings forth new risks. Amidst the excitement of adopting these technologies, there should be equal enthusiasm for identifying, addressing, responding to, and resolving associated risks. A prime example of this is AI, which not only impacts organizations and industries but also profoundly influences everyday human life. AI introduces not only cybersecurity and privacy risks but also various other types of risks. To effectively tackle these challenges, NIST has introduced the “NIST Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework” (AI RMF). This framework aims to assist organizations and industries in integrating AI into their operations while addressing associated risks in a structured manner. By leveraging the AI RMF, organizations can achieve integrated outcomes and enhance organizational efficiency by treating AI as part of their enterprise risk management strategy. Similar to the NIST CSF, the AI RMF utilizes functions, categories, and subcategories to describe and manage AI-related risks effectively.Top of Form

NIST Introduces Enhanced Online Toolkit:

In a significant stride forward, NIST has launched an innovative online resource designed to facilitate the adoption, utilization, and integration of the CSF within organizations. This comprehensive platform outlines strategies through which organizations can strive towards their desired objectives. The online toolkit encompasses various components, including:
  • Informative References: Pointers to a diverse array of established global standards, guidelines, frameworks, regulations, policies, and more.
  • Implementation Examples: Varied approaches illustrating potential pathways for attaining the desired outcomes.
  • Quick-Start Guides: Streamlined guidance facilitating the transition from prior CSF editions to the latest version 2.0.
  • Community Profiles and Organizational Profile Templates: Resources aiding organizations in customizing the CSF to their specific contexts and establishing priorities for cybersecurity risk management.
This online resource promises to be a game-changer in navigating the complexities of cybersecurity implementation and fostering resilience within organizations.


  • Anamika Naikwadi

    Anamika Naikwadi is an esteemed figure in cybersecurity, presently holding the position of Subject Matter Expert within the GRC Team at Network Intelligence. With over 5 years of extensive experience encompassing GRC, IT Compliance, Privacy, IT Business Analysis, IT Services Delivery, Auditing, and the implementation of various IT standards such as ISO 27001, ISO 22301, SWIFT, AUA/KUA, NESA, and PCI DSS, she has a proven track record. Anamika excels in implementing standards like ISMS, ISO Standards, Process Documentation, and driving process improvements and analyses. Her proficiency extends to project execution, including vendor Audit Risk Assessment, Cybersecurity Audit, System Audit, ITGC Audit, and ISO 27001 LA (Lead Auditor). Moreover, she holds certifications as an ISO 27001 Lead Auditor and NIST Implementor. An integral member of Network Intelligence's GRC team, Anamika contributes significantly to governance, risk, and compliance initiatives, demonstrating a profound understanding of regulatory environments and a commitment to upholding integrity.

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