Top IT Security & Privacy Frameworks

TABLE OF CONTENTS

To protect & secure data, several security and privacy frameworks are available. The process of adhering to a specific compliance framework is challenging for any organization. 

You must know your company's information, requirements, applicable laws and regulations, cultural sensitivity, and various other factors.

Security and privacy frameworks provide a structure where you can manage procedures, rules, and other administrative tasks needed in your organization. 

The frameworks used to protect a business from potential cybersecurity threats clarify the implemented processes. 

Though you are aware of its importance, implementing the frameworks in your business is a daunting task. This is because of the various security and privacy frameworks. You may not be sure which framework you should consider or legally need to adhere to.

Having a comprehensive information security framework in place serves the primary purpose of lowering an organization's overall risk profile and security exposures. These security frameworks are the go-to document that helps your organization to remain secure and compliant. In case of any emergency, the document can be consulted to protect your organization.

Sometimes the different frameworks can overlap depending on your business requirements. In such cases, you can adhere to one common framework that serves the various purposes of your organization. 

For instance, by using a common framework, ISO 27002, you can remain compliant with organizational information security standards with multiple frameworks such as HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI DSS, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

It is necessary to know your business policies and processes involved so that you can choose the appropriate framework that best suits your organization.

How Do You Select the Right Security Framework for Your Organization?

Your choice should be based on several considerations, like the standards of your industry, compliance requirements mandated by the government or your company, and the likelihood of you being targeted by cyber attackers.

You may get started in the correct direction by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Are you or any of your customers involved in the healthcare or retail industries? It is likely that you will be required to comply with either HIPAA or PCI DSS.

  • Do you collect, process, or store user data for residents of the European Union or the state of California? It's possible that GDPR or CCPA will be needed by law.

  • Do you manage or keep data pertaining to your customers in the cloud? Compliance with SOC 2 and ISO can bolster your company's security posture and help you earn the trust of your customers.

  • Are you a corporation that trades on a public exchange? You can achieve SOX compliance with the assistance of COBIT.

  • Are you a federal agency in the United States or a contractor working for one? You should presumably comply with NIST Standard Practice 800-53 or NIST Standard Practice 800-171.

Different considerations can determine which information technology security framework to implement in your organization. There could be decisive variables such as the type of industry or the need for compliance. 

For example, the information security frameworks part of the ISO 27000 series can be implemented in the public or private sector.

This article will walk you through 8 different privacy and security frameworks that help you reduce any risk in your organization.

Top 8 Privacy & Security Frameworks

Let's take a look at what privacy standards, rules, and frameworks are, a few of the most common options to choose from, and how they are utilized so that we can better manage the process.

1. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was formed by the European Union (EU) to safeguard the personal information of EU citizens. It applies to any and all enterprises, regardless of where in the world those firms are located, provided that they collect and process the personal data of EU individuals. 

The framework lists regulations about consumer data access rights, data protection rights, consent, and other connected topics. 

Who it is for Any and all companies that gather information on the EU (European Union)

Purpose: Safeguarding personal information and privacy for EU citizens.

Penalty: Violators of GDPR may be fined up to $20 million, or up to 4% of the organization's annual worldwide turnover for the preceding financial year.

According to GDPR, users have eight fundamental rights regarding personal data and data protection.

There are eight rights that the General Data Protection Regulation has established, and they apply to all users. For your company to comply with GDPR, you should deeply understand the rights; otherwise, you may risk harsh penalties. The rights provide you with a significant amount of control over the data.

2. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is a component of proposed statutes enacted in 1996 and is responsible for establishing guidelines for protecting sensitive patient medical information. 

The Department of Health and Human Services mandates that businesses that host sensitive patient data implement both physical and technical safeguards, which include:

  • Access to the facility is restricted, and only authorized personnel are permitted inside. It also includes the utilization and access to electronic media.

  • Restrictions on moving, deleting, disposing of, and reusing electronic media and electronic personally identifiable information.

  • Along the same lines, the HIPAA technological safeguards necessitate access control restricting access to electronically protected health information (ePHI) to only those who have been granted permission.

  • Utilizing individual user IDS, protocols for emergency access, automatic log-off, encryption, and decryption.

  • These are examples of audit reports and tracking logs that capture activities on hardware and software.

Other technical policies for HIPAA compliance need to encompass integrity controls. IT disaster recovery and offshore backup are crucial components. It ensures errors and failures in electronic media are repaired to restore accurate and complete patient health information. 

To be in compliance with HIPAA, every healthcare institution must implement cybersecurity best practices and conduct risk assessments.

Who it is for The medical and healthcare industry 

Purpose: Safeguarding the patients' medical information. 

Penalty: The penalties for violating HIPAA are determined by the level of negligence. It can range from $100 to $50,000 per violation.

3. CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act)

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, or CCPA provides consumers with increased control over the personal information collected about the citizens of California by businesses. The regulations accompanying the CCPA explain how the law should be put into effect.

You have come into contact with the CCPA Compliance Framework if you are a resident of the state of California and have ever encountered a website that contained a link that reads "Do Not Sell My Personal Information" (the Interactive Advertising Bureau California Consumer Privacy Act). 


Data protection for Californian customers is the primary concern. When customers decide that they do not want their data to be sold, businesses are required to inform ad tech providers of this decision, and the user's data is therefore prevented from being sold.

The CCPA gives consumers increased control over the personal information collected by businesses, and the regulations accompanying the law offer direction regarding how it should be implemented. 

Consumers in California have increased control over their personal data thanks to this framework. Compliance is required from businesses that gather user information as well as the advertising technology companies that buy that information.

The law grants residents of California unprecedented protections for their personal information, including the following:

  • The right to be informed about any personal information collected about them by a company, as well as how that information is used and shared;

  • The right to remove any personally identifiable information that has been gathered about them (subject to certain limitations);

  • The ability to prevent the dissemination of their personal information by purchasing an opt-out option; and

  • The right to protection from discrimination if they exercise their CCPA rights.

Consumers have the right to receive specific notices from businesses that describe how the companies handle their personal information. The California Consumer Privacy Act applies to various enterprises, including data brokers.

Businesses and Ad Tech companies responsible for managing California residents' personal data are required to adhere to this framework.

Who it is for Companies and AdTech firms that are responsible for managing the personal data of California residents

Purpose: Information security for California customers.

Penalty: The CCPA states the penalty is $2500 for every unintentional violation and $7,500 for every intentional violation of the law.

4. ISO 27001 and ISO 27701

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) devised the ISO 27000 series to publish recommendations for carrying out information security policies. 

In particular, ISO 27001 details the requirements that must be met in order to construct and maintain an information security management system (ISMS). An ISMS is a solution that can help you manage people, processes, and technology in order to reduce the risk associated with information security.

Who it is for Organizations that deal with sensitive data

Purpose: The establishment and maintenance of a system for the management of information security

Penalty: Violations of ISO 27001 will lead you to pay penalties up to 2% of the global turnover of your organization.

If achieving compliance with ISO 27001 will make your brand appear more trustworthy to customers, you should consider using this compliance to streamline the certification process.

5. PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

In 2006, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, often known as PCI DSS, came into being to ensure the safe operation of all businesses that accept, process, store, or transmit customer credit card information. 

The protection of the information of cardholders is the primary objective of the framework. Regardless of their size, all businesses that deal with this information must comply with PCI DSS.

Who it is for Any business that deals with customer credit card information

Purpose: Security of information belonging to cardholders 

Penalty: The Payment Card Industry has determined fines of up to $500,000 per incident for security breaches when merchants are not PCI compliant.

PCI Data Security Standard compliance is enforced by payment brands such as MasterCard, Visa, and others, unlike government-mandated standards.

6. FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act)

The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) prevents the assets of the United States federal government from the dangers posed by cyberattacks. It was initiated to control federal spending on information security while lowering the security risk to federal data and information.

The framework extends to third parties working on behalf of the federal government and the federal government itself. The Department of Homeland Security is in charge of monitoring and directing how its implementation is carried out.

Who it is for The United States Federal Government and any other parties acting on its behalf

Purpose: Government asset protection

Penalty: If a government agency gets a low FISMA score, the penalties will include censure and loss of work for a number of agency employees. The case of a partner (a private business) who fails to comply will be penalized with the loss of federal funding and censured from entering any future government contracts.

Documentation of digital assets and network integrations is obligatory under FISMA, much like it is under NIST. In addition, organizations need to perform routine risk assessments and keep an eye on their IT infrastructure.

7. CIS Controls

The majority of cybersecurity frameworks center their attention on the identification and control of risks. 

On the other hand, CIS Controls (Critical Security Controls) is little more than a list of measures that any organization can carry out in order to protect itself from potential cyber threats. 

Controls include things like procedures to protect data, maintenance of audit logs, protection against malware, and penetration testing, among other things.

Who it is for: Anyone who wants it

Purpose: Protecting data from potential cyberattacks 

Penalty: CIS Controls imposes the cost of a data breach at an all-time high of $4.35 million and stricter penalties for not following rules around the world

Basically, other frameworks are great for finding where the "pipe" of security is leaking. The CIS Controls tell you how to stop the leak.

8. COBIT

Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology were formulated by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) in the middle of the 1990s (COBIT). 

By assisting businesses in formulating and executing information management plans, the framework lowers the level of technological risk faced by organizations.

Since the 1990s, COBIT has undergone numerous revisions in order to remain relevant in light of evolving dangers. The most recent updates include an emphasis on coordinating IT with business objectives and information governance, risk management, and security. 

Compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) laws, which were introduced in the early 2000s to safeguard investors, is frequently accomplished with the help of COBIT.

Who it is for Companies that are traded on a public exchange

Purpose: Aligning information technology with business goals, as well as security, risk management, and data governance.

Penalty: This framework incorporates a minimum fine of $10,000 per violation, with a maximum of $250,000 per year for repeat violations.

Use Zluri to Stay Secure and Compliant

Zluri is a SaaS management platform that gives you visibility into your SaaS apps' security and compliance posture. This includes ISO 27001, SOC 2, GDPR, PCI DSS, etc., and helps you maintain SaaS compliance. 

We help you stay compliant with the regulatory frameworks and make you audit-ready.

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We also help you detect critical apps with high threat levels and risk scores. This alerts you about critical apps and, if used, can lead to compliance violations, making you pay high penalties during the audits.

We offer you security and compliance information for each SaaS application. This includes recent events, data shared, compliance, and security probes.

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The Ideal Cost Optimization Playbook to Control SaaS Spend

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With this explosion of SaaS at companies, there arise SaaS challenges caused by apps getting out of your control. These SaaS challenges varies in three dimension: spend management, security and complance risks, and various SaaS operations tasks like automating SaaS procurments, renewals, employees onboarding and offboarding.

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‘Muda’ is used to describe any activity that uses resources but doesn't generate value. It is the Toyota system for identifying and eliminating waste in all forms. It is the same thing that helps Toyota sell more cars than Ford, General Motors, and Honda at a higher margin.

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