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Cybersecurity professionals track a ton of information. From the numerous tools they manage to the various frameworks commonly used, the amount of information and data collected helps guide their efforts towards cyber maturity. But all these inputs and responsibilities can easily be overwhelming.

Fortunately, Cyber Risk Management Platforms (CRMPs) make it easier to manage and improve your tech stack and cyber readiness by using common frameworks—including the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF)—to improve the effectiveness of your security controls.

The NIST CSF categorizes cybersecurity activities and outcomes into five core functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover. Twenty-three categories of activities are structured under these functions, while the categories themselves are broken into 108 detailed subcategories. Check out their helpful online learning portal if you’re curious about the details.

Typically, when a cybersecurity vendor talks about how they relate to the NIST CSF, they focus on only one or more categories or subcategory they can directly address. Ideally, a CRMP will do more than simply check off a few boxes. To help organizations improve their cyber maturity efforts around NIST CSF, we developed the “LEAP” framework:

  • Leverage: Utilize product data and organizational insights from your environment.
  • Enhance: Bolster an existing product or offering working in concert for a combined offering
  • Assess: Provide quantifiable metrics to validate maturity around a NIST category or subcategory
  • Provide: Deliver the security-control value of a NIST category or subcategory

Applying LEAP to your security organization

The purpose of LEAP is to simplify how you evaluate your tech stack, talent and processes. The first step is to run a simulation of your production environment within a high-fidelity cyber range, so you can get a baseline of your security posture. Then, you can start tuning your tech stack to gain maximum leverage from your cybersecurity investments. The range allows you to understand how your tools will perform in production so you can make the necessary changes.

With the right range provider, you’ll be able to access performance metrics to inform key stakeholders of your cyber maturity and compliance posture. By mapping assessments and range exercises to the requirements of cybersecurity frameworks like NIST, you’ll be able to go beyond checking boxes. Verifying that you have the necessary controls in place and observing their application in a realistic simulation allows you to deliver the full benefits of a security framework while addressing any potential operational impact.

LEAP ahead with SimSpace

SimSpace can leverage data and insights across nearly all 23 NIST CSF categories. With our underlying cyber range technology and partner ecosystem, organizations can use the information on their processes, technology and threat landscape to build better training programs, system testing, and performance assessments.

Similarly, through our partnerships, SimSpace can enhance existing tools, increasing the value of your security spend. With the SimSpace Cyber Force Platform, you can:

  • Train AI/ML detection tools to advance their defensive learning curves faster to combat potential threats—not just the ones you are experiencing today.
  • Improve your CI/CD processes to pressure test new patches or code before rolling out to production.
  • Verify that Zero Trust controls are offering the desired protection without unduly restricting productivity.

One of the greatest challenges in improving your cybersecurity maturity is understanding where you stand. Insightful, relevant and actionable assessments are the bread-and-butter value of the SimSpace platform. SimSpace offers the greatest fidelity of any cyber range, providing you with a safe, isolated context to evaluate your people, processes and tools against the latest technological innovation and advanced threats.

We make this possible out of the box with industry-tailored range architectures and easy customization. With the ability to assess every NIST CSF category, in part or in full, SimSpace helps you focus your security investments and build confidence in your readiness to face attackers.

So far, SimSpace directly provides solutions for over twelve NIST CSF subcategories, spread over eight categories. In addition to offering insights into how well you're covered across the NIST CSF categories, we help you:

  • Understand relevant threats, vulnerabilities, likelihoods and impacts to determine risk (ID.RA-5)
  • Improve executive awareness and training (PR.AT-4)
  • Deliver an independent testing environment (PR.DS-7)
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of protection processes (PR.IP-7)
  • Test response and recovery plans (PR.IP-10) and detection processes (DE.DP-3)
  • Continuously improve detection processes (DE.DP-5)
  • Using the SimSpace platform and our LEAP framework for NIST CSF, you can build confidence in your cybersecurity maturity with greater visibility, new ways to improve your team’s mastery and a tight-knit, well-tuned ecosystem of security stack controls.

Interested in learning more about CRMPs and seeing LEAP in action? Check out SimSpace’s offerings or sign up for a demo today!

Blog byDavid Berliner
David Berliner
David Berliner
David Berliner is the Director of Security Strategy for SimSpace Corporation. His role includes exploring cybersecurity market trends, thought leadership, company positioning, and competitive analysis. David holds a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.