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Implementing the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Implementing the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a well-known framework to help businesses in the United States and Canada bolster their cybersecurity posture.

The NIST framework helps organizations better understand, manage, and reduce their cybersecurity risk and protect their networks and data. NIST offers a systematic approach to safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining business operations. It provides best practices to help businesses decide where to focus their time and money for cybersecurity protection.

The six elements framework includes: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover, and Govern. Each area plays an important role in the prevention of cyber threats.

  • Identify: Serves as the cornerstone of the NIST framework, assisting organizations in understanding their cybersecurity risk and creating a strategy to effectively manage that risk. 
  • Protect: Focuses on establishing protective measures to defend against cybersecurity threats before they occur.
  • Detect: Aims at recognizing cybersecurity events as they unfold, by implementing systems and processes for monitoring, analyzing, and mitigating cyber threats.
  • Respond: Focuses on how an organization will respond and react to cybersecurity events when they do occur, such as communicating to stakeholders and reporting the incident. 
  • Recover: Centers around restoring data and normal operations following a cybersecurity incident.
  • Govern: The organization's cybersecurity risk management strategy, expectations, and policy are established, communicated, and monitored.

Hughes is a proponent of the framework and applies the five elements into our offerings, including how we develop security products and deliver security services as a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP).

The NIST Framework in Action

Let’s take a look at how Hughes aligns its solutions with the NIST framework to help businesses protect their network and data.


The primary tasks of the identify function include creating and communicating your company’s cybersecurity policy, which covers roles and responsibilities, asset management, business goals and objectives, governance, and risk assessment. 
Hughes offers consultative services to customers to help determine criticality and priority of services. This helps customers identify all of their devices and potential points of entry onto their network, as well as help identify cybersecurity policies and procedures that may need to be re-evaluated or updated.


The protect function focuses on establishing measures to safeguard against cybersecurity threats and includes access control, employee training and awareness, data encryption and backups, and protocols and procedures for managing sensitive information.

One of the ways Hughes protects your business is with Unified Threat Management (UTM) and firewall services, which are built on a robust network infrastructure that intelligently routes traffic to ensure an optimal experience and minimum downtime. Hughes partners with best-in-class security platforms from companies like Fortinet and Cisco Meraki to provide a truly comprehensive managed cybersecurity solution which is customizable to fit your unique business needs.

Some of the features of Hughes Managed UTM include content filtering, vulnerability management, network access control, two-factor authentication for remote access, and antivirus and antimalware protection.

Another way Hughes protects your business is with Hughes Ransomware and Zero-Day Prevention. This is a lightweight agent that is installed on each of your endpoints (such as computers, laptops, phones, and tablets) to counter cyberattacks. It uses a multi-layer prediction and prevention approach to effectively combat both known and unknown cyber threats, including ransomware and zero-day attacks.

Think of Ransomware and Zero-Day Prevention as an advanced firewall for each unique endpoint. It uses AI and ML to recognize patterns in attacks that may have been slightly altered by cybercriminals and missed by a firewall. Key features of Hughes Ransomware and Zero-Day Prevention include prevention of ransomware and zero-day attacks, 24/7 monitoring and alerting, incident response, regular reporting, and periodic consultations with a Security Operations Center (SOC) analyst.

Detect and Respond

The detect and respond functions focus on the plans and procedures for detecting and responding to cybersecurity incidents as they occur. This includes monitoring IT systems for anomalies, implementing systems for continuous monitoring and surveillance, establishing processes for detecting and analyzing cybersecurity events and for communicating updates to stakeholders, as well as implementing strategies to minimize the impact of the event and further damage.

Hughes helps businesses detect cyberthreats in a variety of ways. One way is with Managed Detection and Response (MDR). MDR provides businesses with a team of experts who are part of a remote SOC. They use advanced tools to actively monitor your organization’s cloud services, network traffic, servers, and endpoints; identify potential security threats; and trigger a response to mitigate those risks before they can cause harm, with the goal of detecting and neutralizing the threats and preventing similar future occurrences.

MDR provides a proactive and integrated approach to security that enables your organization to strengthen your security posture and proactively prevent potential cyberattacks, while reducing costs and minimizing risk.

MDR uses advanced analytics and ML to monitor activities on these devices. It can detect and respond to threats in real-time, providing in-depth visibility into endpoint activities and threats that may evade traditional antivirus solutions.

A SOC is an integral part of Hughes managed security services, enhancing your ability to detect, respond, and prevent threats by centralizing and coordinating all cybersecurity technologies and operations. The Hughes SOC delivers a full-time operational team 24/7, armed with tools and technologies for real-time threat detection and mitigation.

The SOC correlates all events flowing from the various security tools that are monitoring your network and endpoints. They will respond by analyzing the alert, immediately shutting down the component under attack, if necessary, and working with your security team on remediation efforts.

The SOC works seamlessly with your existing security staff, augmenting their capabilities and enhancing their productivity. For small- and medium-sized businesses who may not be able to staff their own cyber professionals or who struggle to keep up with network monitoring activities, a SOC is essential. 
We can still ingest 3rd party EDRs and telemetry, active directory, cloud workflows, whatever the customer has.


When we think about recovery, the stars of the show are the backups of your data. Backing up your data and files is crucial and may allow you to recover from a cyberattack if something gets past your other defenses. The recovery process also includes communicating openly with employees about the attack and how you plan to communicate response and recovery activities to customers in order to keep everyone informed. Hughes encourages customers to institute secure, separate, encrypted backups into their cybersecurity posture.


Hughes helps provide visibility and clarity into your cybersecurity posture that makes it easier for cybersecurity leaders and teams to communicate with their organizations what is happening and what is being done to defend their networks. Hughes also assists with compliance regulations such as PCI 4.0.

How to Implement NIST Cybersecurity Framework

Fundamentally, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework is a valuable tool for businesses looking to manage cybersecurity risk. By focusing on the six core functions of the framework—Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover, and Govern—Hughes works with businesses to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that is tailored to their specific needs.

To learn more about Hughes cybersecurity solutions and how we align with the NIST framework, visit our website and contact us to explore how we can help you protect your business against cyber threats.