CIS: Who They are and How to Follow Their Guidelines

 If you are in the world of technology at all, you may have heard of the CIS.  It stands for the Center for Internet Security, and it is a non-profit organization.  They provide a set of guidelines and benchmarks for businesses to follow when it comes to protecting the sensitive information and data that customers provide to them.

They are an international entity, and the knowledge base that they have compiled has been contributed to by a ton of experts in information technology and academia alike.  You can find them on this page: https://www.cisecurity.org/.  

The main goal of my article today, though, is to help you to understand how you can follow the guidelines that they have established.  It all seems easy on paper, but when you get to trying to program on your own, it can be a bit of a challenge.  Keep reading to learn more about how it works and what you can do to make things easier on yourself.

What You Should Know

There are actually a few different levels that they outline in terms of benchmarking cyber security.  Why does that matter?  Well, it will be up to your discretion about which to follow, since some of the higher tiers often sacrifice some simple utilities and functions to ensure tighter security.  

If you are a company or organization that deals in highly sensitive information such as social security numbers or other government issued identification documents, you should probably try to follow the higher levels of the guidelines.  This can help to ensure that customers or visitors feel more comfortable providing those details to you.  If a breach occurs at that level, it often reaches the national news.  Talk about a scandal to avoid.

With credit card numbers, though, sometimes the lower levels of security will work just fine.  Unfortunately, something that we need to bear in mind that just as hackers are constantly evolving their techniques to steal data, we must adjust our own strategies accordingly.  The goal is to keep ahead of them, but it is not always possible.

This means that the protocols created by CIS can be helpful as we watch for new updates in the cybersecurity realm.  Everyone wants to have top of the line, high quality procedures and safety measures to help assure customers that their data will be safe, after all.  You are less likely to have said data stolen, which obviously means more profit for you.

 How Hard are the Guidelines to Follow?

This is where a lot of questions can be raised, since there is no doubt that programming and website construction can be a big challenge.  Even experienced experts can find difficulty in implementing the security measures that are recommended by this organization and others.  So, it is totally fair to be concerned about that.

As with most things, though, there are people out there who have helped develop potential solutions to this problem.  There are now programs and websites that can utilize the frameworks and benchmarks provided during the creation of the web pages that you want without you needing to go back and change it all to fit.  It is certainly handy technology.

If you are looking to do it from scratch, though, you might want to read sources such as this one to get an idea of what to do.  When you are creating a system like this on your own, sometimes things can slip through the cracks though.  It may not be a bad idea to ask for a second opinion on it, too.

Why this Matters

This is a huge question that I am faced with when I bring this up with people.  Why should we care about any of this, anyway?  What is the appeal of cyber security in the first place?

Well, obviously the biggest thing is that no one wants their private information to be leaked or accessible to hackers.  We want to make sure that we are safe while we shop online or give our details to websites.  That means that all of us take part in upholding the baseline of what we should expect from the sites that we visit.

So, that is a big part of why this concept matters.  If you are feeling uncertain about it, make sure that you take a peek at some of the sources that I linked.  Of course, there are plenty of other ones that you can check out as well.  The internet is a huge place.

There are almost endless possibilities, really.  Do not close yourself off to them just because you are feeling uncertain!  Explore your resources and see what there is out there as create your secure and safe space on the worldwide internet.  You won’t regret it!

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