The Two C’s: Cybersecurity and Compliance

August 4th, 2021
Cybersecurity Compliance

Following a series of high-profile cybersecurity attacks on a major pipeline and the country’s largest meat supplier, The White House recently issued an Executive Order to boost critical infrastructure defenses. The directive includes developing security and performance standards for technology and systems, building on and formalizing an effort that began in the Spring of 2021 to secure industrial control systems. 

In many industries, cybersecurity frameworks may already exist today. Though they may seem intimidating, most of today’s cybersecurity tools are built with industry-specific standards in mind that serve as a guide. MSPs are challenged to meet compliance needs and validate their robust cybersecurity programs on behalf of their clients.

To do this effectively, MSPs need to embrace a mindset of continuous improvement, beginning with a baseline assessment that educates them on where their organization stands and what needs to be improved. By performing these assessments and testing your network, MSPs are better equipped to meet compliance needs and further validate the value of cybersecurity programs for clients. 

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When first getting started, most organizations without in-house security teams will not get an ‘A’ on their assessments. This can be concerning for some, but it doesn’t have to be - knowing where you stand is the first step! Setting a benchmark with assessments and testing is crucial to thoroughly review your cybersecurity posture, including identifying any weaknesses and providing recommendations for improvement. 

In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in security frameworks from organizations that may come as part of a business or compliance requirement and act as a blueprint for what your organization’s cybersecurity program should look like. Some of the most common frameworks include:

Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC): A framework for contractors who provide services to the Department of Defense, with varying levels to become certified.

International Standards Organization 27000 Series: A series of standards that provides an overview in how to identify and manage security vulnerabilities. 

U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology Publications: Frameworks that specifically takes into account the differing capabilities and resources of smaller businesses, helping to set guidelines accordingly. 

With many different frameworks out there, many might fit your organization’s needs, situation, and industry segment. These security frameworks can be helpful not just in guiding your own organization but also in providing validation when communicating with clients that you have a serious cybersecurity program in place. 


Other ways of further evaluating your organization’s cybersecurity posture can include methods like vulnerability scanning and penetration testing (or pen testing). 

With vulnerability scanning, automated tools will help you quickly identify weaknesses across systems, networks, devices, websites, and applications. These tools can also prioritize remediation tasks based on the level on the identified risk level and should run regularly to institute a model of continuous improvement. 

Pen testing is conducted by a certified “Ethical Hacker” who will attempt to breach your organization’s networks and systems to gain access to your data in a controlled environment. This method enables organizations to see proof of successful breaches, including how access was granted and what data was impacted. 

Starting to build a comprehensive cybersecurity program can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Defendify works with organizations every day to streamline cybersecurity across people, processes, and technology. Download our new guide, "What's the “F” in cybersecurity,” to get started. 

Other Resources:

Webinar: The Legal Side of Cybersecurity: How MSPs and Integrators Can Protect Themselves

Blog: How MSPs Can Fill Business Needs for Cybersecurity

Podcast: Unpacking Executive Order 14028: Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity

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