NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) Assessments

NIST CSF Assessment

Cybersecurity attacks aren’t going away. They’re continuing to rise in both sheer numbers and sophistication; and organizations of all sizes are being targeted. It’s no longer a matter of IF, rather it’s WHEN.

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) was developed through collaboration of government and industry to help organizations, in any sector or community, better manage and reduce their cybersecurity risk. Since the CSF is a flexible framework, organizations can utilize it to identify relevant cybersecurity risks and prioritize investments to maximize risk reduction.

 The prioritized, flexible, repeatable, and cost-effective NIST CSF assessment completed by 360 Advanced helps organizations create and manage cybersecurity-related risk through a widely accepted and customizable lifecycle.

The NIST CSF Assessment facilitated by 360 Advanced will help organizations to better understand, manage, and reduce their cybersecurity risks. As a result of the assessment, risks and actionable activities are identified and are prioritized to reduce the impact on critical operations and service delivery of a cybersecurity attack. In turn, organizations can maximize the impact of each dollar invested in cybersecurity through improved communications, awareness, and understanding amongst IT, operating units, as well as senior executives of the organization. In addition to improved internal communications, organizations can also readily use the results of our assessment to communicate current or desired cybersecurity posture with outside entities.

360 Advanced CSF assessments provide organizations with actionable and informative deliverables, including recommended remediation, cybersecurity maturity by CSF function and domain, and identification of unmitigated cyber risks.

NIST CSF Core Functions, Implementation Tiers, and Profiles

The framework’s core functions – identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover – organize basic cybersecurity functions at their highest level. This in turn provides a strategic view of an organization’s cybersecurity efforts, in a format that’s easy to understand for both technical and non-technical stakeholders. Each of the framework’s major categories (such as governance, risk management, monitoring, and response planning) fall into one of the core functions:

Develop the organizational understanding to manage cybersecurity risk to systems, assets, data, and capabilities.


Asset management; business environment; governance; risk assessment; risk management strategy; supply chain risk management

Develop and implement the appropriate safeguards to ensure delivery of critical infrastructure services.


Identity management; authentication and access control; awareness and training; data security; info protection and procedures; maintenance; protective technology

Develop and implement the appropriate activities to identify the occurrence of a cybersecurity event.


Anomalies and events; continuous security monitoring; detection process


Develop and implement the appropriate activities to take action regarding a detected cybersecurity event.


Response planning; communications; analysis; mitigation; improvements

Develop and implement the appropriate activities to take action after responding to a cybersecurity event.


Recovery planning; improvements; communications

The framework also includes implementation tiers, which help organizations understand how their current cybersecurity practices align with the NIST CSF. While similar to maturity levels, NIST implementation tiers are not quite as formal. Instead of striving for the highest possible maturity level, organizations should select the NIST tier that is most appropriate for their objectives, resources, and risk profile.

Similarly, NIST CSF profiles allow organizations to map their efforts to the framework’s core functions. Organizations can use profiles to identify opportunities for improvement by comparing their current profile to a desired “target” profile.

Obtaining Proof of NIST Compliance

Unlike other NIST standards, the NIST CSF is not a formal certification or accreditation program. Federal contracts and RFPs often require organizations to “self-certify”, or attest that they are in compliance with the NIST cyber risk management framework. However, third-party validation of an organization’s controls can provide an additional level of assurance.

NIST Cybersecurity Assessments

As an independent, third-party cybersecurity and compliance firm, 360 Advanced can help you navigate the NIST CSF assessment process. With a deep understanding of the NIST cybersecurity framework, our auditors can guide you through a CSF risk assessment or a formal NIST security assessment.

NIST CSF Risk Assessments

A NIST risk assessment allows you to evaluate relevant threats to your organization, including both internal and external vulnerabilities. It also allows you to assess the potential impact an attack could have on your organization, as well as the likelihood of an event taking place.

360 Advanced can take you through a cybersecurity risk assessment at the organization level, the business process level, and/or the system (environment) level. Our auditors will assess your:

  • Cybersecurity leadership
  • Governance and societal responsibilities
  • Strategy development and implementation
  • Customer expectations and engagement
  • Measurement, analysis, and improvement of performance programs
  • Knowledge management process
  • Workforce environment and engagement
  • Work processes and operational effectiveness
  • Results (including procedural results, customer results, workforce results, leadership results, financial results, and strategic results)

The NIST cybersecurity framework allows organizations to complete a self-assessment of the above factors using the Baldridge Excellence Framework. However, an independent, third-party risk assessment allows you to go beyond a checklist to evaluate the true impact of your security programs.

At 360 Advanced, our team will work to identify where you are already in compliance with the NIST information security framework and where you need to update your policies and procedures to meet minimum standards. From there, we can assist in the development of a Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M).

NIST CSF Assessments

After your risk assessment (and any corresponding remediation actions), 360 Advanced can formally assess your organization for compliance with the NIST cybersecurity framework. Tailoring the assessment to the unique needs and risk profile of your organization (such as your use of cloud-based solutions), we’ll review your policies and procedures for storing, processing, and transmitting CUI, as well as your incident detection and monitoring programs.

Our team has a deep understanding of NIST cybersecurity assessment requirements, as well as the unique requirements of each associated industry. We have conducted NIST assessments for healthcare technology organizations, pre-employment screening firms, and other government contractors. Our goal isn’t just to ensure that you’re meeting the relevant NIST standards for privacy and security, but also the local, regional, and industry-specific requirements to which your organization is held.

NIST Assessments as Part of an Integrated Compliance Initiative

Our firm takes a 360-degree approach to compliance. That means integrating NIST 800-53 and NIST 800-171 assessments with your other privacy, security, and information management initiatives. We can integrate your NIST CSF assessments with ISO certification efforts, FISMA certification efforts, DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement) compliance initiatives, and DOD CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) initiatives. We can also integrate your NIST compliance efforts with healthcare-specific assessments, such as HIPAA and HITRUST, or other general security initiatives, such as SOC 1 or SOC 2 examinations.

Our integrated approach streamlines the process for your entire team, allowing you to reduce duplicative requests and interviews and lowering your overall cost of compliance. Our fixed-fee model lets you focus on your business, while allowing our team to provide unlimited support and guidance along the way.

Get in Touch With Our NIST Cybersecurity Assessors

Whether you’re planning a NIST vulnerability assessment, self-assessment, or cybersecurity audit, 360 Advanced can help you meet your contractual obligations and earn more work in the federal sector.