NIST Network Security Framework: Five Functions

The NIST Network Security Framework helps organizations to protect data. It also helps in responding to and recovering from cyber threats.

Read on to learn more.

NIST Network Security Framework

In fact, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology published this framework in 2018.

Since then, various industries have adopted this. Thus, it helped them manage the risks in cybersecurity.

In addition, this framework suggests the best security practices. So, organizations can handle threats better.

The Five Functions of the NIST Network Security Framework

The five functions included in the NIST Network Security Framework are:

  • Identify
  • Protect
  • Detect
  • Respond
  • Recover

The above functions are the core of the framework. These also help organizations enable risk management.


The identify function is about understanding your organization well. So, you can manage cybersecurity risks better.

Moreover, it helps strengthen assets and systems. Also, it protects data and its capacities.

So, how can organizations adapt to this function? They should have full access to the following assets:

  • connection
  • communication
  • digital and physical data
  • fixed roles and responsibilities
  • threats to resources
  • risks and weakness


The protect function is about the application of mandatory steps. So, it helps contain the damage of a potential security event.

So, how can organizations apply this function? They should follow the following:

  • Conduct cybersecurity training and awareness programs for employees.
  • Assess the risks of private data.
  • Support and manage information systems and networks.
  • Implement remote maintenance and activities.
  • Secure systems security by installing tools.
  • Arrange procedures, policies, and agreements between parties.


The detect function is about identifying a cybersecurity event. So, organizations can quickly apply solutions once an incident happens.

Then, how can organizations follow this function? They must perform the following:

  • detect abnormalities and events quickly
  • understand the potential damage accurately
  • apply protective measures
  • track the incident through networks
  • expect and hunt cyber threats
  • maintain the above steps to learn the matters


The respond function is about developing an organization’s response plans. So, it is critical to limit the incident’s impact.

So, how can organizations obey this function? They must do the following:

  • Make plans during and after an event.
  • Clarify communication between involved parties.
  • Manage information about the event.
  • Implement all necessary methods to solve it.
  • Train employees about the activities in responding to an incident.


The recover function is about the methods to get back to normal. It also helps restore any systems affected by the incident.

Thus, it helps organizations resume normal operations as quickly as possible.

So, how can an organization conform to this function? They must conduct the following:

  • Prepare a recovery plan.
  • Communicate with restoration teams.
  • Connect with external parties.
  • Apply recovery actions in an organization.
  • Get action points for faster recovery.


The five functions of the NIST Network Security Framework help private organizations and businesses. It can also assist government agencies with their networks.

Also, they can apply these to financial services and utilities. Finally, it can improve the agriculture and healthcare sectors.

Besides, this framework improves over time. So, there will be available updates of these technologies.

Hence, organizations can ensure secured data and systems.

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