The Center for Internet Security has published a draft version of the updated Critical Security Controls document. The document provides a set of specific and prioritized actions that align with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and other important security frameworks. The new version reflects the Center of Internet Security’s principles of “Offense informs defense” and prioritization (invest first in controls to that are feasible to implement in your computing environment and that offer the greatest reduction in risk).
The Center is asking for public feedback on this document by July 31. The updated draft was driven by feedback from a wide variety of users of the Critical Security Controls, and will benefit from your input, as practitioners of IT security.
As noted at the Center site, key updates in the new draft include:
- Re-prioritization of some controls based on threat evolution
- Restructuring of controls and merging of some items for simplification
- Additional aids for planning and implementation
- Better alignment with other frameworks
Even if you do not intend to send comments, the draft version is well worth reading to inform your assessment of your own security operations.
The current published version (5.1) is also a good read. In keeping with the tenet of prioritization, it offers “‘First Five Quick Wins’: sub-controls that have the most immediate impact on preventing attacks.” The controls are:
- Application whitelisting
- Use of standard, secure system configurations
- Patch application software within 48 hours
- Patch system software within 48 hours
- Reduce the number of users with administrative privileges
How many of these controls have you implemented in your environment?
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