A cybersecurity maturity model can help you measure your cybersecurity strategy’s effectiveness and report on your security posture. A ‘Maturity’ model approach can help businesses increase their resiliency and the ability to survive the impact of rising cybersecurity threats and attacks.

A key step to ‘Maturity’ is understanding your risk profile. Businesses usually perform a risk assessment and gap analysis to understand their risk profile and relevant threats that could impact them. Fundamentally, a cybersecurity maturity assessment utilises cybersecurity maturity models and best practices and tools so you can move security initiatives forward and take them in the right direction, aligned to your organisation’s risk profile. Maturity models typically have ‘levels’ along a scale to measure progression.

Organisations can leverage the Maturity Model approach to determine critical service delivery activities and can prioritise cybersecurity investments accordingly. Ultimately, the Maturity Framework reduces, and better manages cybersecurity risks.

We will cover three common models in this blog:

  • Australian Energy Sector Cybersecurity Framework (AESCF) and the Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (C2M2) allows companies to consistently measure their cybersecurity maturity, particularly for those in the energy sector. It uses a scale of maturity indicator levels (MILs)0–3, to measure maturity. The ES-C2M2, part of the C2M2 program, was developed to address the electricity subsector. The Australian Energy Sector Cyber Security Framework (AESCF) borrows from the C2M2 along with the NIST.
  • The Australian Government Information Security Manual uses five maturity modelling levels to assess Cybersecurity principles and includes guidelines that help organisations protect their systems. The key inclusion is the Essential 8 Maturity model for businesses, to tackle the minimum eight functions to improve their security posture.
  • NIST Cybersecurity Framework is risk-based, reinforcing the connection between business drivers and risk, and includes best practices, standards, and guidelines.

Below, we examine how cybersecurity maturity models improve an organisation’s cybersecurity effort and enable cybersecurity teams to communicate with upper management and receive the necessary support.


Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (C2M2)

The AESCSF is a cybersecurity framework tailored to the Australian energy sector. The framework’s purpose is to enable organisations to assess, evaluate, prioritise, and improve their cybersecurity capability and maturity.  It has been developed in collaboration with local industry and government, like ACSC and borrows from the ES-C2M2 model. The C2M2 model primarily supports power and utility companies, using 4 Maturity Indication Levels (MIL) to provide an overview of your risk. However, other organisations can leverage it to assess their cybersecurity maturity and capabilities. The model covers ten domains to assess best practices:

  1. Risk management
  2. Asset, change, and configuration management
  3. Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  4. Threat and vulnerability management
  5. Situational awareness
  6. Information sharing and communications
  7. Event and Incident Response (EIR)
  8. Continuity of operations
  9. Supply chain and management of external dependencies
  10. Workforce management and cybersecurity program management


NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) helps organisations prevent cybersecurity risks and subsequent impacts that can affect revenue and cause customers’ distrust. This framework is most commonly used, due to its comprehensive approach, and wide acceptability worldwide as a recognised framework, and can be indispensable for its overall cyber maturity management program.

The NIST CSF consists of three parts:

  1. Framework Core: The Framework Core involves numerous cybersecurity operations and application references The Core ensures adherence to best practices, industry standards, and guidelines. These security controls allow communication of various cybersecurity activities across the organisation from the management level to the implementation level.
  2. Implementation Tiers: These fulfil many cybersecurity requirements. The four implementation tiers include 
    • Tier 1: Partial
    • Tier 2: Risk-Informed
    • Tier 3: Repeatable
    • Tier 4: Adaptive
  3. Profiles: Security teams should meet the desired outcomes of the Framework Core. The Profiles Framework aligns a company’s cybersecurity requirements, resources, and risk appetite against desired outcomes of the Core.


    Australian Information Security Manual

    The Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM) outlines a cybersecurity framework that organisations can apply to protect their systems and information from cyber threats. The ISM defines two key areas for mature cybersecurity principles.

    The purpose of the cybersecurity principles is to provide strategic guidance on how organisations can protect their systems and information from cyber threats. The cybersecurity principles grouped into four key activities: govern, protect, detect and respond. The ISM’s key driver is for organisations is to demonstrate that the cybersecurity principles are being adhered to within their organisation.

    Cyber Security Guidelines 

    The cybersecurity guidelines within the ISM provide practical guidance on how organisations can protect their systems and information from cyber threats. These guidelines provide best practice tools and guides,  governance, physical security, personnel security, and information and communications technology security. 

    The ISM incorporates five maturity levels that are listed below:

    1. Incomplete The cybersecurity principles are either partially implemented or not implemented.
    2. Initial: The cybersecurity principles are implemented but in a poor or ad hoc manner. 
    3. Developing: The cybersecurity principles are sufficiently implemented but on a project-by-project basis.
    4. Managing: The cybersecurity principles are established as standard business practices and robustly implemented throughout the organisation.
    5. Optimising: A deliberate focus on optimisation and continual improvement exists to implement the cybersecurity principles throughout the organisation.

      The key is for organisations to leverage the guidelines to achieve an ‘optimised’ level across the five key principles.


      What do you need in a cybersecurity Maturity framework?

      Threat actors are continually improving their attack methods, and organisations are looking for the best cybersecurity practices, frameworks, and maturity models in response to ever-evolving sophisticated techniques.

      The Cybersecurity Maturity framework serves as a system of best practices, guidelines, and standards used as a yardstick to measure how an organisation progresses in becoming Cyber Resilient. The tools and guides within each framework help to mitigate risks and prevent sophisticated cyber threats and attacks. It helps prioritise a flexible, cost-effective, and repeatable technique to promote your organisation’s resilience and protection.

      All frameworks have a common goal, Cyber Resiliency, but are used to measure maturity in different contexts and are usually applied based on the industry risk exposure unique to your business. You need to determine which one meets your business needs because a randomly chosen framework may not serve your business’ needs.


      Increase your cybersecurity maturity level with Centorrino Technologies

      Our Managed Security Services leverages our Maturity model, borrows from the key leading frameworks, ISM and NIST, and provides a comprehensive continuous assessment across Cyber Principles, Technology guidelines and Risk, combined with industry-leading security tools across your Data, network and cloud environments, for end-to-end security approach. Our focus on building maturity along with our expertise in proactive security, backup and recovery and staff uplift, will help you strengthen your organisation’s security posture.

      Visit our capabilities page to learn more about how we can supply you with the latest cybersecurity solutions.