Cyber Security Controls

One way to strengthen your cyber security posture is to use cyber security controls to establish protection against common threats and attacks. Organizations can use cyber control to improve their security.

Did you know that cyber attacks have become increasingly common and dangerous in the past few years? Cyber incidents can force companies to lose millions of dollars. Global cyber crime is growing around 15% year after year, and experts project that cyber crimes will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually in the next few years.

Cyber threats simply cannot be ignored, because they do not knock on the door like solicitors — they will break in, steal your belongings, and even burn down your entire house on the way out. Good cyber security is more critical than ever.

One way to strengthen your cyber security posture is to use cyber security controls to establish protection against common threats and attacks. Organizations can use cyber control to improve their security.

When talking about cyber security controls, the term may refer specifically to Center for Internet Security (CIS) control. The CIS controls list was developed following a devastating attack on the United States defense industry back in 2008. Even though the initial attack concentrated on the United States, the CIS critical security controls are meant for businesses, governments, as well as institutions around the world.

These controls are a list of actions prioritized based on importance and are meant to reduce organizations’ risk against cyber threats. CIS controls were initially developed by a whole international group of agencies and security experts. They analyzed real-world incidents so that the list would be as relevant and accurate to the experience of organizations as possible. An organization that places down cyber security controls may detect and mitigate its cyber risks more effectively.

There are different types of cyber security controls. They include but are not limited to administrative controls, physical controls, operational controls, cloud security controls, and technical controls.

The list of specific controls is very long and there are numerous categories. It may be helpful to see which ones are most feasible and beneficial for your particular organization. The CIS critical security control lists the controls in order of how you should typically prioritize your cyber security measures.

Secure for the known, insure for the unknown

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Critical Security Controls

The CIS Critical Security Controls' newest version, also called the CIS Controls V8, is a cyber security controls list that serves as a prioritized set of safeguards that has been updated to keep up with the constantly evolving cyber threat landscape. The newest update includes information on the cloud and mobile technology and also offers a new CIS Service Provider Management Control, which speaks to how clouds can be better managed.

Organizations and IT professionals can leverage these CIS common security controls to combat the most seen types of cyber attacks that are made against systems and networks.

The basic and foundational critical security controls (CSC) apply to organizations regardless of industry. They include these top controls:

If you can only implement a few controls, these six are generally the most important ones to prioritize. You may also want to consider using the NIST framework to strengthen your cyber security posture.

Cyber Security Controls Framework

Just like how the NIST cybersecurity framework helps in making a plan to strengthen your cyber security, a cyber security controls framework helps you identify what controls you may want to implement. Security frameworks offer a clear view of what is necessary to formulate a successful cyber security plan for your organization.

No matter the size or industry of your company, you can take advantage of a cybersecurity framework to enhance your cyber security planning. It can act as a rubric and checklist for your cyber security goals. If you end up with a low cyber resiliency score rated by a framework rubric, you can find out how much time and resources you still need to budget for cyber security.

The typical framework may include the identification of your important assets, what the potential threats are, mitigation of risks, training of your employees, disaster and crisis management, and recovery planning.

Cybersecurity Standards

Organizations are raising their cybersecurity standards, as they should. With cyber crimes becoming increasingly prevalent and alarmingly devastating, it is crucial to update your cyber security measures each year. You can look at a cybersecurity checklist 2022 to keep up to date with the latest cyber security expectations and standards. Specific articles like a cyber security checklist for small business owners can help you figure out what the best practices are for your particular business.

You may want to verify that your security standards are CIS critical security control compliant. If your compliance is lacking, you have a higher chance of falling to cyber attacks such as data breaches, credit card fraud, identity theft, denial of service attacks, intellectual property theft, and other distressing and disruptive cyber crimes.

Basic standards are important to have within your organization. There should be at least a general understanding of cyber security, which means that you may need to run a cyber security awareness training course. This can make sure that your workers have lower chances of being exploited by malicious cyber threat actors.

An introduction to cybersecurity PDF can be helpful reading for those who deal with sensitive information, especially trade secrets and personally identifiable information. Human vulnerabilities make up a majority of cyber security risks in organizations, so the better trained your employees and leaders are, the better you will be able to avoid cyber security issues.

After implementing cyber security measures and controls, it may be time to consider insurance as well. While costs are going up for liability coverage, it can provide additional financial protection in case of a catastrophic cyber incident, such as a data breach or ransomware and DDoS attack.

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Cyber Security Controls Examples

It is hard to find a comprehensive information security controls list because of how many cyber security controls examples exist today.

However, it is easier to examine the typical technical security controls that are recommended for companies to implement. A technical security control is software or hardware meant to improve a system’s resilience against cyber attacks.

There are many reasons to use technical controls within your organization. They may detect threats, prevent unauthorized access, and provide general security. This kind of control should usually aim to protect data that is in motion as well as data that is at rest. More specifically, this means that data stored on hard drives and data being transferred should both have an acceptable level of security.

Here are technical controls examples:


This is the classic kind of technical control. It serves to monitor and manage incoming and outgoing network traffic based on certain predetermined rules that aim to spot and mitigate cyber attacks. The purpose of a firewall is to establish a firm barrier between a trusted and an untrusted network (usually the Internet). There are hardware, software, and cloud hosted firewalls.


If your sensitive data is encrypted, it means that it’s been transformed into a readable, encoded format. It must be decrypted before it can be read or processed. This conversion of data adds an extra layer of protection because it becomes harder to steal. Encryption is usually recommended for companies that need to store or transfer sensitive information, especially because data theft and breaches can be exceedingly expensive to deal with.

Intrusion detection

Either a software app or device, an intrusion detection system (IDS) monitors a network for both malicious and policy-violating actions. These violations or suspicious activity are then either reported to an administrator or a security information and event management system.

Fast alerts can help your team react more quickly to potential threats. Catching some types of cyber attacks earlier can help you bolster your preparedness and reduce the chances of a disastrous cyber incident.

Identification & authentication mechanisms

Identity and access management can help you ensure that the correct, authorized parties are the ones who have access to your important digital assets. While this may be less useful against insider threats, it can still be a useful and convenient way to add multiple layers of security. Options include MFA authentication, Captcha tests, voice biometric authentication, and fingerprint authentication.

Antivirus and anti-malware

These kinds of data security software typically attempt to identify and block malicious viruses and malware from penetrating your networks. They may scan for malicious threats routinely and delete the detected threats so that your devices are more secure. Many computers come with antivirus software.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that solely using technical controls is not usually enough security. The days of a firewall and antivirus paired together being robust enough to keep threats out are long gone. As organizations shift to take up more digital space and use more sophisticated infrastructure like clouds, new threats have emerged. It is usually a good idea to implement various types of cyber security controls so that your bases are better covered.