Breaking Down the New Elements of the Upcoming NIST CSF 2.0 Draft

Chad Davis Miniatura
Chad Davis
Published August 10, 2023

In an increasingly interconnected digital landscape, the significance of robust cybersecurity measures cannot be overstated. Recognizing this, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) emerged in 2014, serving as a pivotal tool in curtailing cybersecurity risks across diverse sectors. Numerous organizations have communicated to NIST that CSF 1.1 stands as a potent apparatus in grappling with cybersecurity risks. Nevertheless, a unanimous consensus resonates that the evolution of the Framework is imperative to tackle impending cybersecurity challenges and facilitate seamless organizational adoption. Collaborating closely with the community, NIST is diligently crafting CSF 2.0, a vision that integrates futuristic effectiveness with the core essence of the Framework's original aims and objectives.

What Exactly the NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 Is and Isn’t

At its core, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 serves as an invaluable tool for organizations seeking to not only comprehend their cybersecurity landscape but also to effectively evaluate, prioritize, and articulate their cybersecurity endeavors. Unlike a rigid manual of directives, the Framework refrains from dictating specific methodologies for achieving these outcomes. Instead, it acts as a strategic nexus, connecting organizations with an array of resources that furnish supplementary guidance on recommended practices and controls.

Delving deeper into the components of the Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 draft, this blog unravels some of its proposed changes to the 1.1 version, shedding light on its multifaceted approach to bolstering digital defenses.

What (Specifically) Is Changing

The following are five of the most notable changes from NIST CSF 1.1 to 2.0:

  1. Evolution of the Cybersecurity Framework Title and Scope – The renowned Cybersecurity Framework has undergone significant enhancements, reflecting its broad utility. The title shift from 'Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity' to 'Cybersecurity Framework' simplifies recognition. The scope now extends to all organizations, diverging from its initial critical infrastructure focus. This evolution acknowledges the Framework's global relevance, shifting emphasis from U.S. critical infrastructure to encompass organizations worldwide. These alterations highlight the Framework's adaptability and its capacity to cater to diverse cybersecurity needs, reaffirming its stature as a dynamic tool for organizations of varied sizes and contexts.

  2. CSF's Interconnection with New Resources – The evolution of the CSF extends beyond its bounds, bridging connections with other essential frameworks and resources. NIST's thorough review prompted revisions to the NIST CSF, introducing references to contemporary tools like the NIST Privacy Framework, NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity, Secure Software Development Framework, and more.

  3. Elevating CSF Implementation Support – The evolution of the CSF embraces heightened support for effective implementation, such as the introduction of implementation examples, offering illustrative action-oriented processes to achieve CSF subcategories. These strategic augmentations propel CSF beyond a theoretical construct, furnishing practical tools that amplify its real-world impact. With enhanced implementation guidance, CSF further solidifies its role as an indispensable asset in navigating the complex terrain of cybersecurity.

  4. Strengthening Cybersecurity Governance: Enhanced Framework Focus – The evolution of the CSF underscores the critical role of cybersecurity governance. Introducing the new 'Govern' function, the CSF embraces a holistic approach. It covers an array of facets including organizational context, risk management strategy, cybersecurity supply chain risk, roles and responsibilities, policies, processes, and oversight.

    Guiding organizations towards comprehensive cybersecurity integration, the Framework now provides insights on aligning with the NIST Privacy Framework and intertwining with enterprise risk management, as detailed in NIST IR 8286. Notably, the emphasis on people, process, and technology has been magnified across the Framework's implementation.

    This heightened focus on governance bolsters CSF's significance in the realm of cybersecurity, affirming its status as a versatile and comprehensive tool for organizations striving to fortify their digital defenses.

  5. Empowering Cybersecurity Supply Chain Resilience – The evolution of the CSF spotlights the paramount significance of cybersecurity supply chain risk management. With the introduction of a dedicated category under 'Govern,' the Framework takes a resolute stance.

    This update stems from a commitment to align with the latest NIST guidance and current best practices. Notably, the CSF embraces the realm of cybersecurity supply chain risk management and secure software development, reflecting a proactive approach to safeguarding digital ecosystems.

    This forward-looking emphasis reinforces the Framework's adaptability to the evolving threat landscape, rendering it an invaluable instrument for organizations aspiring to bolster their cybersecurity posture and resilience within intricate supply chain dynamics.

This latest CSF draft marks a significant milestone, as NIST won't be issuing another version for commentary. Your input will directly shape the final CSF 2.0, slated for release in early 2024. Share your feedback at until Friday, November 4, 2023.