cyber security


Just how protected are your essential information and foundation? With constant digital dangers, does your security plan consider every potential risk? Opting for a suitable conformance system can feel overpowering, with numerous possibilities.


Grasping the National Establishment for Norms and Technology’s (NIST) Particular Circulation 800 show becomes indispensable. As one of the most identified cyber wellness directives internationally, NIST 800 furnishes exhaustive direction.


However, how can you conclude which papers are pivotal? This article will elucidate NIST 800’s worth and how embracing its danger-centered methods can advise selections.


1. Choosing Compliance Framework

Organizations’ compliance process explores the complexities of overlapping standards. Such obligations embrace many network security protections, including PCI DSS for payment card data security, compared to non-specific frameworks like ISO 27001. As for controlled unclassified information (CUI), those handling it in the Department of Defense (DoD) are specifically in for NIST Special Publication 800-171 requirements.


In this complex landscape, you should assess various strategies to make them ideal. For instance, scrutiny will help reveal that the NIST 800-171 family of publications offers the most comprehensive guidance to customers.


It ensures that both widely applicable obligations and in-depth responsibilities of many sectors and missions are mentioned. In contrast to the rules, guidelines outline the best practices for the prevention of security breaches, which are personalized for organizations to manage cybersecurity risks and privacy issues in advance.


Consisting of more than 30 documents, the NIST 800 collection is developed to assist governments and corporate agencies in their efforts against resilience construction. The topics cover technical measures, risk assessments, privacy program implementation, AI expansion, and marketing privacy.


2. The Foundation Of NIST 800

The cybersecurity framework, as defined in the NIST Special Publication 800-53, is the very basic element. Sometimes also referred to as NIST 800-53, the core of this publication contains more than 200 security and privacy controls grouped together under families.


The NIST 800-53 framework provides a systematic technique for ensuring system safeguards and the safeguards of resourceful information. Therefore, the approach would be comprehensive and systematic to protect information resources reliably. Providing implementation recommendations might help confirm the installation and use of controls.


Uniformity between different level tiers using technologies, industries, and organizational sizes occurs through standardized language and clear-cut ideas. By building a program based on the NIST 800-53 standards that supply a basic control set, organizations want to establish a foundation for configuring their cyber defense architecture. Whether created through innovation or status quo, the standards serve as foundational preparatory measures for stable security.


3. Managing Risks Effectively

Two components of particular importance to mature risk management efforts include NIST SP 800-30 and 800-39. The former provides a standardized methodology for systematically identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing vulnerabilities, threats, and the likelihood and impact of risks. This Risk Management Framework (RMF) is the basis for continuously improving protection.


NIST 800-39 builds on the RMF, outlining steps such as adequately categorizing information assets, selecting security controls matched to risk tolerance, comprehensively implementing solutions, formally assessing adequacy, and authorizing systems.


Its emphasis on ongoing authorization, monitoring, and communication ensures that risk oversight transitions from reactive to proactive as threats progress. They systematically follow NIST 800-39 institutes risk management as a collaborative, strategic function.


4. Addressing Modern Challenges

Beyond foundational works, NIST 800 releases new documents to address specific functions and quickly emerging technological domains. For example, SP 800-125 guides cloud security implementation as digital services like cloud computing proliferate.


The series discusses timely matters, including mobile device management, identity federation principles, and vulnerability disclosure programs.


Security programs seamlessly assimilate controls addressing present-day concerns by routinely examining suggested sections. Active contributor feedback additionally helps the standard evolve at the rapid pace of innovation. This assures guidelines stay synchronously risk-informed and applicable to cutting-edge industries and operations.


5. Staying Current is Key

Given constant technical and geopolitical changes reshaping the cyber landscape, adhering to the latest NIST 800 iteration remains essential. Sign up for announcements highlighting revisions on the NIST website.


Similarly, annual checks are conducted for publications relevant to new capabilities or threats on the horizon. Websites consolidate all guidelines for easy access or reference.


Voluntarily following recommendations endorsed at this level reflects proactive risk ownership. Maintaining familiarity with modifications confirms coverage remains appropriately broad and vigilant over time.


Compliance ultimately requires continuous self-assessment and refinement informed by credible sources. Adherence to the living NIST 800 series satisfies this objective.



Today’s interconnected world sees sensitive information and the systems securing it facing complex, continuously diversifying dangers and constructing comprehensive risk management demands following experts who comprehensively study challenges from all angles.


By grounding programs in the NIST 800 series, organizations establish internationally esteemed cyber safety baselines focused on critical techniques like assessment, validation, and future-proofing through design. Its attentiveness to feedback ensures relevance for years to come. Knowledge of NIST 800 is imperative for modern, versatile cyber resiliency.


Cybersecurity Practices for Marketers


Cybersecurity is no longer a luxury for marketers; it’s a necessity. With data breaches on the rise, implementing robust cybersecurity practices has become imperative. This blog post unveils essential strategies to secure your digital footprint, protecting your brand’s reputation and clients’ confidential data.


What is a Digital Footprint, and Why Should Marketers Care?

What is a Digital Footprint?


A digital footprint refers to the trail of data and information you leave behind using the internet and digital devices. It encompasses your online activities, personal information, and digital assets, creating a unique digital identity.


Components of a Marketer’s Digital Footprint


A marketer’s digital footprint is extensive and includes:


  • Social Media Presence: Profiles, posts, and interactions on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Company Website and Online Assets: Website content, blogs, and digital marketing materials.
  • Email Accounts and Marketing Automation Platforms: Email communications, subscriber lists, and campaign data.
  • Customer Data Management Systems (CDMS): Customer information, preferences, and purchase histories.
  • Third-Party Vendor Integrations: Data shared with partners and service providers.

Risks of an Unsecured Digital Footprint


Failing to secure your digital footprint can lead to:


  • Data Breaches and Customer Information Leaks: Unauthorized access to sensitive data, compromising customer trust.
  • Brand Reputation Damage: Negative publicity and loss of credibility due to security incidents.
  • Financial Loss and Legal Issues: Costs associated with data breaches, regulatory fines, and legal battles.
  • Targeted Phishing Attacks and Social Engineering Scams: Cybercriminals exploiting vulnerabilities for unauthorized access or financial gain.

Building a Strong Cybersecurity Posture

Importance of a Proactive Approach


In today’s digital landscape, taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity services is crucial. Being reactive and addressing security concerns only after an incident can have devastating consequences. Marketers must prioritize prevention and implement robust security measures from the outset.


Conducting a Digital Footprint Audit


A comprehensive digital footprint audit is the first step towards strengthening your cybersecurity posture. This process involves:


  • Identifying All Online Assets: List all your digital assets, including websites, social media accounts, email addresses, and marketing platforms.
  • Reviewing Privacy Settings and Permissions: Evaluate each asset’s privacy settings and permissions, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access.
  • Assessing Third-Party Vendor Security Practices: Review the security measures and data handling practices of any third-party vendors or service providers you work with.

Establishing a Cybersecurity Policy


A well-defined cybersecurity policy serves as a roadmap for protecting your digital footprint. It should clearly outline:


  • Roles and Responsibilities: Assign specific cybersecurity roles and responsibilities to ensure accountability.
  • Data Handling Procedures: Establish guidelines for securely collecting, storing, and sharing sensitive data.
  • Password Management Guidelines: Implement strong password policies and encourage the use of password managers.
  • Incident Response Protocol: Define a clear action plan in case of a security breach or cyber attack.

Essential Cybersecurity Practices for Marketers

Fortifying Your Social Media Presence


Social media is a powerful tool for marketers but poses significant security risks. To fortify your social media presence:


  • Utilize Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA on all social media accounts and use unique, complex passwords for each platform.
  • Maintain Separate Personal and Professional Accounts: Keep your personal and professional social media accounts separate to avoid inadvertently sharing sensitive information.
  • Be Mindful of What You Share Publicly: Avoid posting details about your organization, clients, or campaigns that cybercriminals could exploit.
  • Review and Adjust Privacy Settings Regularly: Review and tighten privacy settings to control who can see your posts and personal information.

Securing Company Websites and Online Assets


Your company’s website and online assets are often the digital face of your brand, making them prime targets for cyber attacks. Secure these assets by:


  • Implementing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) Encryption: Encrypt all website traffic to protect sensitive data, such as login credentials and customer information.
  • Keeping Website Software and Plugins Updated Regularly: Outdated software and plugins are vulnerable to known security exploits. Update them regularly to patch security holes.
  • Conducting Vulnerability Scans and Penetration Testing: Hire ethical hackers or use automated tools to identify and address vulnerabilities in your websites and applications.
  • Backing Up Data Regularly: Implement a robust data backup strategy to restore your website and data in case of a security breach or system failure. Determine your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) by identifying critical systems within your organization and the impact of operational disruptions on your business.  


Additionally, consider hiring developers experienced in backup systems to optimize your strategy.


Protecting Email Accounts and Marketing Automation Platforms


Email accounts and marketing automation platforms are goldmines for cybercriminals, as they contain sensitive customer data and marketing strategies. Protect these assets by:


  • Enabling 2FA and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Add an extra layer of security by requiring multiple authentication factors to access accounts and platforms.
  • Educating Employees on Phishing Attacks and Email Security Best Practices: Provide regular cybersecurity training to help employees identify and avoid phishing scams.
  • Utilizing Strong Spam Filters and Email Encryption Tools: Implement robust spam filters and encrypt sensitive email communications to prevent data leaks.
  • Granting Least Privilege Access to Marketing Automation Features: Limit access to marketing automation features based on employees’ roles and responsibilities.


Safeguarding Customer Data


As marketers, you handle a significant amount of customer data, prioritizing data protection.
Safeguard customer data by utilizing encryption and access controls to secure customer data, implementing secure data storage practices, and having a safe disposal process for sensitive data. Additionally, incorporating an AI photo editor into your workflow can add an extra layer of efficiency and creativity to your marketing visuals, ensuring they stand out in a crowded digital landscape.


  • Limiting Data Collection to What is Absolutely Necessary: To minimize the potential impact of a data breach, collect only the customer data essential for your marketing activities.
  • Following Data Minimization and Retention Policies: Implement policies to delete or anonymize customer data that is no longer needed.
  • Complying with Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR, CCPA): Stay up-to-date with data privacy regulations and ensure your practices align with them.
  • Securely Storing and Disposing of Customer Data: Secure customer data with encryption and access controls and have a safe disposal process for sensitive data.

Staying Ahead of the Curve: Advanced Cybersecurity Measures

To stay ahead of the ever-evolving cybersecurity threats, consider implementing these advanced measures:


  • Implementing Security Awareness Training for Employees: 

Regular security awareness training can help employees identify and respond to cyber threats, such as phishing attempts and social engineering scams. Informed employees are a crucial defense against human-caused security breaches.


  • Utilizing a Password Manager for Secure Password Management: 

Password managers generate, store, and retrieve complex passwords securely, eliminating the need to remember multiple passwords. They help enforce strong password practices and prevent password reuse across accounts.


  • Employing Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) Solutions: 


EDR solutions continuously monitor and analyze endpoint activities (laptops, desktops, servers) for potential security threats. They can detect and respond to advanced cyber-attacks, providing real-time threat visibility and response capabilities.


  • Keeping Up-to-Date with the Latest Cybersecurity Threats:


Monitor cybersecurity news, advisories, and threat intelligence reports regularly to stay informed about emerging threats and vulnerabilities. Subscribe to industry publications, follow reputable cybersecurity organizations, and attend relevant conferences or webinars.


FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about Securing Your Digital Footprint

How can I remove unwanted information from the internet? 


Removing personal information from the Internet can be challenging. Start by contacting website owners or search engines to request data removal. For more extensive removal needs, consider using online reputation management services.


What should I do if I suspect a data breach?


Act quickly. Identify the source of the breach, contain the damage, and notify relevant parties (customers, authorities, etc.). Implement incident response protocols, reset compromised credentials, and engage a cybersecurity professional for assistance.


Are there any free tools available to help me secure my digital footprint?


Yes, several free tools are available, such as password managers, VPNs, antivirus software, and online privacy checkers. However, paid solutions often offer more robust features and better support.




In 2021, the number of cyber attacks hit an all-time high — and cybersecurity experts believe that the number of attacks may be even higher this year.


Without enough investment in cybersecurity, your brand may be at risk.


Here’s how any brand can tell if they’re investing enough in cybersecurity, plus tips for protecting your business from cybercrime and hackers. The right technology can make defending your business a lot easier. Using modern cybersecurity tools like antivirus, a firewall, and reliable VPNs will reduce the risk that your network is infected by ransomware and malware. These tools help to cover some of the most important categories of cybersecurity, including network security, information security and app security.


The Most Important Cybersecurity Investments

Often, hackers prioritize targeting companies that don’t have basic cybersecurity defenses in place. If you can cover the basics, you’ll go a long way toward protecting your company from an attack.


It’s a good idea to quickly review your company’s current cybersecurity approach, and make sure that you invest in these tools and resources: If you’re missing one or more of these investments, it’s a sign that you may need to commit more resources towards cybersecurity.


1. Employee Training


Social engineering is a common tactic that hackers will use to break into company networks. By taking advantage of gaps in employee cybersecurity knowledge, they may be able to easily breach a business’s cyber defenses.


For example, a phishing attack uses emails that appear to be from a legitimate source to get employees to download malicious files, or divulge sensitive information like passwords or access credentials.


It’s usually easy to spot a phish if you know what you’re looking for. Training employees in identifying phishing emails can help protect a network from attacks as a result.


Additional training in cybersecurity basics will help your team defend themselves and the company against cyber criminals. It’s good practice to ensure that your team knows how to create strong passwords, spot potentially malicious files and recognize unusual network activity.


With these basics, your team should be able to avoid many common kinds of social engineering attacks.


2. Antivirus Software, Firewalls and Other Cybersecurity Tech


The right technology can make defending your business a lot easier. Using modern cybersecurity tools, like an antivirus and firewall, will reduce the risk that your network is infected by ransomware and malware. These tools help to cover some of the most important categories of cybersecurity, including network security, information security and app security.


The right technology can also help you defend your website from attack.


Regularly updating the security software that comes with your devices will be important, especially if your brand uses many smart or IoT devices. These devices receive security patches over their lifetime that help protect them from newly discovered exploits and vulnerabilities. A regular update schedule will help your team make sure these devices are also protected from attack.


Network monitoring software can help you get the most out of your antivirus and firewall software. Monitoring tools keep track of network activity and look out for unusual traffic that may suggest your network has been compromised. Using these tools will make it much easier to spot hacker activity in the event of a breach.


3. Regular Backups


No matter how well-defended a business is, it may still fall victim to a breach to a ransomware attack. These attacks may result in essential files and systems being deleted, corrupted or otherwise made inaccessible.


Effective cybersecurity means preparing your business to recover in the event that a hacker succeeds. Backups, for example, help protect important data and business files, ensuring that you can get back to work as quickly as possible after an attack.


A regular backup schedule will ensure that you always have recent backups of critical files, resources and apps on hand.


Most businesses create their backups with some kind of cloud backup system. These systems regularly backup important information to the cloud, where it will be easily accessible when needed.


Some businesses also create physical backups by copying important files to an external hard drive. This process can be automated, ensuring that physical backups are kept up-to-date.

Important Investments For Protecting Any Brand From Cyberattacks

Every brand should have some kind of cybersecurity strategy. Otherwise, the brand could be leaving itself exposed to cyber attacks.


Covering the basics of cybersecurity can provide your brand with a lot of protection from attacks.


Employee training, an antivirus, firewall and backups will all make it much easier to prevent attacks and recover in the event of a network breach.



Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.