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Exploring the Importance of SANS Top 20: Understanding and Implementing Critical Security Controls

Exploring the Importance of SANS Top 20: Understanding and Implementing Critical Security Controls

Understanding and implementing reliable security controls is crucial, and there is no better framework to guide you than the SANS Top 20 Critical Security Controls (CSC). For this blog post, we'll delve into the significance of the SANS top 20 and particularly focus on 'sans 18' - the eighteenth control to grasp the depth and comprehensiveness of this framework.


The SANS Institute's Top 20 Critical Security Controls represent a risk-based approach to cybersecurity. Comprehending and effectively implementing these controls aids organizations to counteract the most pervasive and perilous cyber threats. One of the noteworthy control in this list, the 'sans 18' i.e., Incident response and Management, outlines methods to prepare, manage, and respond to system breaches and cyber attacks, efficiently minimizing risks and damage.

Understanding SANS Top 20

The SANS Top 20 is a compilation of 20 critical cyber controls derived from the most common attack patterns and vetted across a broad spectrum of industries and companies. Each control addresses specific elements of system safety and features a distinct framework that assists in reducing the overall risk profile of a business. The control 'sans 18,' assigned to Incident response and Management, is specifically crucial in mitigating threats and enhancing cybersecurity resilience.

The Importance of sans 18

Control sans 18 highlights the necessity to determine, detect, respond to, and recuperate from cybersecurity incidents swiftly and efficiently. An effectively planned and implemented Incident response and Management strategy can mean the difference between a minor hiccup and a major disruptive event for an organization. It not only aids in managing an incident but also helps comprehend the root cause, thus preventing potential future incursions of similar nature.

How to Implement sans 18

Implementing 'sans 18' entails building an Incident response Team (IRT) comprising individuals from various departments of the organization. The IRT should carry out regular readiness exercises simulating potential cyber attacks, enhancing their skills and the organization's ability to tackle any incursion swiftly and efficiently. The team should also ensure that adequate systems are in place for logging incidents and breaches for later analysis and learning.

Detecting Incidents

Detecting incidents promptly is an essential part of 'sans 18'. The organization should employ comprehensible security technologies like Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Security Information and Event Management systems (SIEM) to guarantee early detection of incidents, enabling quicker response and mitigation.

Analysing and Responding to Incidents

Once an incident is identified, the IRT should spring into action by analyzing the incident, determining its nature, and framing an effective response plan. Handling security incidents also involves eradicating the cause of the breach, restoring systems, and ensuring that similar breaches do not recur.

Learning from Incidents

Post incident analysis is a vital phase of 'sans 18'. Organizations should consider every incident as a learning opportunity. Analyzing security breaches and the responses can help in identifying gaps in the current Incident response and Management strategy, leading to effective system fortification and improved future responses.

Best Practices

Organizations can adhere to several best practices suggested by the SANS Institute to efficiently implement and manage 'sans 18'. These include regular staff training sessions, maintaining up-to-date system inventories, developing detailed Incident response plans, conducting continuous network monitoring, and performing post-incident reviews for ongoing improvement.

In conclusion,

the SANS Top 20 Critical Security Controls, and the 'sans 18' specifically, offer organizations a robust framework to fortify their cybersecurity stance. The implementation of these controls enables organizations to prevent, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents better, minimizing potential damage and downtime. A comprehensive understanding of these controls, especially Control 18 - Incident response and Management, can go a long way in shaping an organization's resilience against cyber threats, thus safeguarding its systems, data, and overall operational continuity.