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NIST releases draft outline of cybersecurity framework for critical infrastructure


From the July 18, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published July 18, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
As part of its efforts to develop a voluntary framework to improve cybersecurity in the critical infrastructure, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has posted a draft outline of the document to gather public comments. The outline proposes a core structure for the framework and includes a user’s guide and an executive overview that describes the purpose, need and application of the framework in business.

The draft outline reflects input received in response to a February 2013 request for information, discussions at two workshops and other forms of stakeholder engagement, NIST said. Reflecting comments that emphasized the importance of executive involvement in managing cyber risks, the framework is designed to help business leaders evaluate how prepared their organizations are to deal with cyber threats and their impacts, the agency said.

"We believe that both large and small organizations will be able use the final framework to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure by aligning and integrating cybersecurity-related policies and plans, functions and investments into their overall risk management," said Adam Sedgewick, senior information technology policy advisor at NIST.

NIST also released a draft compendium of informative references composed of existing standards, practices and guidelines to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure industries. This material was released to foster discussion at upcoming workshops and to further encourage private-sector input before NIST publishes the official draft Cybersecurity Framework for public comment in October 2013, the agency said.

Direct comments should be forwarded to cyberframework@nist.gov. The draft outline and other documents related to the Cybersecurity Framework are available on NIST’s website.

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