By Matthew Olney on July 17, 2023

What are the different cyber security compliance frameworks?

Cyber Security Testing, Industry Trends & Insights, Compliance & Regulation

There’s a myriad of cyber security compliance frameworks designed to assist organisations in constructing secure IT environments, assuring data safeguarding and minimising cyber security risks. There’s so many that it can get a tad confusing at times. In this article we delve into several of the key frameworks, including CIS, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27701, Cyber Essentials, SOC 2, GDPR, and NIST, whilst also highlighting the benefits of each. 

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CIS Critical Security Controls 

CIS is a not-for-profit entity that provides a set of 20 critical security controls for organisations to implement robust cybersecurity defences. These controls, applicable universally, offer an effective defence against common cybersecurity threats and are widely recognised for their robustness in data and system protection. 

Benefits: A key benefit of implementing the CIS controls is the ability to systematically and effectively address the most common cyber threats, thereby enhancing the overall security posture of an organisation. 

ISO 27001 

ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised standard for managing information security, outlining a process for initiating, implementing, maintaining, and continually enhancing an organisation's information security management system (ISMS). Compliance attests to an organisation's adherence to best practices in information security. 

Benefits: Compliance to ISO 27001 helps build stakeholder trust in your security measures and can give your organisation a competitive edge. 

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ISO 27017 

ISO 27017, designed specifically for cloud services, extends the ISO 27001 standard. It provides additional controls and guidance for cloud service providers and consumers, ensuring the shared responsibility of security. 

Benefits: This standard helps establish a secure cloud environment, managing risks specific to the cloud, such as data breaches or access violations, thereby reassuring clients about their data safety. 

ISO 27701 (PIMS) 

Also known as the Privacy Information Management System (PIMS), ISO 27701 is an extension to ISO 27001 centred around privacy management. It offers a framework for managing and processing personal information in alignment with privacy regulations like GDPR. 

Benefits: Compliance to ISO 27701 can assist in demonstrating compliance with privacy laws, providing assurance to customers and stakeholders about the robust privacy measures implemented by an organisation. 

Cyber Essentials 

Backed by the government in the UK, Cyber Essentials focuses on the most vital cyber threats. It offers a set of basic technical controls for organisations, assisting in protection against common online security threats. There is also the more in depth Cyber Essentials Plus.  

Benefits: A Cyber Essentials certification asserts that an organisation has taken necessary steps to protect its data and systems, thereby enhancing its reputation in the marketplace. 

SOC 2 

SOC 2 (System and Organisation Controls 2) outlines criteria for managing customer data based on five "trust service principles"—security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. 

Benefits: SOC 2 compliance demonstrates to clients and partners that an organisation has established robust controls over its data and systems, leading to enhanced trust and business relationships. 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 

The GDPR is a stringent privacy and security law in the EU, imposing obligations on organisations worldwide that target or collect data related to EU citizens. It bestows greater control over personal data to individuals and enforces companies to ensure the highest data protection levels. 

Benefits: GDPR compliance can enhance customer trust, improve data management, and significantly reduce the risk of fines and penalties associated with data breaches. 

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 

PCI DSS is a security standard for organisations handling credit card data. All organisations that take payments must take it seriously or face regulatory action. It is designed to reduce payment card fraud and to protect customer data.  

Benefits: PCI DSS enhances data protection, boosts customer trust, minimises data breach risks, improves overall security, and helps avoid non-compliance penalties. 

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 

The NIST's Cyber security Framework offers standards, guidelines, and best practices for managing cybersecurity-related risk. Although designed to protect critical infrastructure, it is versatile enough for use by any kind of organisation. 

Benefits: A risk-based approach allows organisations to prioritise processes that manage cybersecurity risk, leading to more effective allocation of resources and stronger cybersecurity defences. 

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Integrity360: Your Partner in Cyber security Compliance 

Understanding your organisation's security posture and its alignment with mandated frameworks is paramount to maintaining cyber security compliance. This is where Integrity360 comes in. 

At Integrity360, we believe that no organisation should navigate the labyrinth of cyber security compliance alone. Whether you're a bank needing to comply with regulations like PSD2 (Payment Services Directive Two (PSD2) is a piece of legislation designed to force providers of payment services to improve customer authentication processes and to also bring in new regulation around third-party involvement,) and GDPR, or a utility company looking for ways to improve your security strategy, our team of experts is equipped to help. 

A key aspect of our services involves identifying security gaps in your current systems. We assess how closely your organisation aligns with crucial cyber security frameworks, then work with you to fill the gaps. Our goal is to help you build a cyber security infrastructure that not only meets but exceeds compliance standards. 

Each regulation surrounding cyber security has its unique nuances and requirements. It's crucial to understand that the responsibility to meet these lies with the business. Regular penetration testing, a crucial service offered by Integrity360, demonstrates to regulators that your organisation is actively engaged in improving its cyber security strategy and safeguarding its data. 


With a team of analysts holding more than a dozen certifications and years of experience in discovering, investigating, and remediating client vulnerabilities, we are well-equipped to help businesses of all types and sizes. Our expertise enables us to guide you through the process, making compliance a less daunting task. 

Even the smallest compliance misstep can lead to significant consequences, including legal battles, substantial remediation costs, and damage to your reputation. However, with cyber security testing from Integrity360, businesses can prove and maintain their compliance, reducing these risks. 

Ultimately, Integrity360 is here to help you navigate the complex world of cyber security compliance. We understand the unique twists of each regulation and can help your business meet its responsibilities head-on.  

Get in touch with one of our experts to discuss how we can support your journey towards maintaining cyber security compliance and, by extension, a safe and secure operational environment. 

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