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NIST Practitioner

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Course Length
4 days
Credits Earned
28 PDU credits
In response to the accelerating set of security risks and threats to critical infrastructure sectors, the US Government’s National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) was directed to create a cybersecurity framework (CSF) for public and private organizations to use to assess their security practices and controls and to support continual improvement. The NIST cybersecurity framework (CSF) was published in 2014 and critical infrastructure sectors are expected to adopt these practices no later than 2022.

This ACQUIROS accredited training program is targeted at IT and Cybersecurity professionals looking to become certified on how to operationalize the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF) across an enterprise and its supply chain. The NCSF Practitioner program teaches the knowledge to prepare for the NCSF Practitioner exam plus the skills and abilities to design, build, test, manage and improve a cybersecurity program based on the NCSF.  

What You Will Accomplish

You will:
  • Learn how the NCSF helps you identify, assess, and manage cybersecurity risk
  • Learn to develop a roadmap and scorecard for assessing and improving your cybersecurity risk management approach
  • Develop engineering, technology, and business centers to implement the Controls Factory Model
  • Prioritize investments to maximize positive impact
  • Build cybersecurity and cyber risk scorecards and roadmaps
  • Be able to answer the question – are we secure?
  • Who Should Attend

    Risk Managers, Security Managers, CISOs, all IT staff with security management responsibilities, business relationship managers, business leadership with responsibility for security practices and assurance.
    Course Introduction

    This course looks at cybersecurity risks and instructs students on the best approach to design and build a comprehensive technology focused cybersecurity program and business focused cyber-risk management program that will minimize risks, and at the same time, protect our critical assets. Executives are keenly aware of the risks, but have limited knowledge on the best way to mitigate these risks. We will want to enable our executives to answer the key question – Are we secure?

    The class will include lectures, informative supplemental reference materials, quizzes, exercises and tests. Outcomes and benefits from this class is a practical approach that students can use to build and maintain comprehensive cybersecurity and cyber-risk management programs.   
    Body of Knowledge

    The course introduces a “Controls Factory” as a conceptual model that represents a system of controls used to protect our critical assets, by transforming our assets from an unmanaged state to a managed state. The Controls Factory Model (CFM) has three focus areas, the engineering center, the technology center and the business center. The course includes a deep dive of these three areas.

    1. The engineering center includes threats and vulnerabilities, assets and identities, and our controls framework. We use the Lockheed Martin Cyber Kill Chain© to model threats. We examine technical and business vulnerabilities to understand potentially areas of exposure. For assets, we will study endpoints, networks, applications, systems, databases, and information assets. For identities, we look at business and technical identities, roles and permissions. We use the NCSF as our controls framework.

    2. The technology center includes technical controls based on the 20 Critical Security Controls, technology implementation through security product solutions and services, Information Security Continuous Monitoring (ISCM) capability through people, process and technology, and technical controls testing and assurance based on the PCI-Data Security Standard (DSS) standard. The goal is to understand how to design, build and maintain a technology focused security system.

    3. The business center includes the key business / people oriented controls design based on ISO 27002:2013 Code of Practice, implementation (via program, policy and governance), workforce development, testing and assurance based on the AICPA Cyber-risk Management Framework. The goal is to understand how to build a security governance capability that focuses on employees / contractors, management and executives.  

    Course Outline

    The course is organized as follows:
      Chapter 1: Course Overview Reviews at a high level each chapter of the course.
      Chapter 2: Framing the Problem Reviews the main business and technical issues that we will address through the course.
      Chapter 3: The Controls Factory Model Introduces the concept of a Controls Factory Model and the three areas of focus,:
      • the Engineering Center,
      • the Technology Center, and
      • the Business Center.
      Chapter 4: The Threats and Vulnerabilities Provides an overview of cyber –attacks (using the Cyber Attack Chain Model),
      • discusses the top 15 attacks,
      • the most common technical vulnerabilities and ,
      • the most common business vulnerabilities.
      Chapter 5: The Assets and Identities Provides a detailed discussion of
      • asset families,
      • key architecture diagrams,
      • an analysis of business and technical roles, and
      • a discussion of governance and risk assessment.
      Chapter 6: The Controls Framework Provides a detailed analysis of the controls framework based on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. Includes the five core functions (Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond and Recover).
      Chapter 7: The Technology Controls Provides a detailed analysis of the technical controls based on the Center for Internet Security 20 Critical Security Controls©. This section includes:
      • the controls objective,
      • controls design,
      • controls details, and
      • a diagram for each control.
      Chapter 8: The Security Operations Center (SOC) Provides a detailed analysis of Information Security Continuous Monitoring (ISCM) purpose and capabilities. This section includes an analysis of:
      • people,
      • process,
      • technology, and
      • services provided by a Security Operations Center.
      Chapter 9: Technical Program Testing and Assurance Provides a high-level analysis of technology testing capabilities based on the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS). The testing capabilities include all 12 Requirements of the standard.
      Chapter 10: The Business Controls Provides a high-level analysis of the business controls based on the ISO 27002:2013 Code of Practice. Includes :
      • the controls clauses,
      • objective, and
      • implementation overview.
      The business controls are in support of ISO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS).
      Chapter 11: Workforce Development Provides a review of cybersecurity workforce demands and workforce standards based on the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF).
      Chapter 12: The Cyber Risk Program Provides a review of the AICPA Proposed Description Criteria for Cybersecurity Risk Management. Covers the 9 Description Criteria Categories and the 31 Description Criteria.
      Chapter 13: Cybersecurity Program Assessment Provides a detailed review of the key steps organizations can use for conducting a Cybersecurity Program Assessment. Assessment results include:
      • a technical scorecard (based on the 20 critical controls),
      • an executive report,
      • a gap analysis and
      • an implementation roadmap.
      Chapter 14: Cyber-risk Program Assessment Provides a review of the Cyber Risk Management Program based on the five Core Functions of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. This chapter includes a resource guide by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), “Cybersecurity 101 – A Resource Guide for Bank Executives”. Results include:
      • a sample business scorecard,
      • executive report,
      • gap analysis and
      • an implementation roadmap.


    Please contact Deep Creek Center for information.
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