Understanding the Three Pillars of Cybersecurity

The cybersecurity of your company depends on three things—People, Process, and Technology. These are known as the three pillars of cybersecurity, which are recommended by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). They work together to build the most robust cybersecurity posture possible.

This is the first in a four-part article series, where we’ll provide an overview of each of the pillars and how they help protect your organization. We’ll then delve deeper into each of the pillars in upcoming articles. But first, let’s start with cybersecurity challenges for companies of all sizes.

Cybersecurity Challenges

Organizations of all sizes face cybersecurity challenges that can prevent them from having the most robust defense against attackers. Larger organizations face the challenge of maintaining a large enough budget for an in-house security team and ensuring a large enough group that is made up of people who have the appropriate skills, something that becomes increasingly challenging as the complexity of cybersecurity grows.

Small- and mid-sized organizations typically don’t have the budget for an in-house security team, which requires them to work with out-of-the-box solutions and third parties to ensure they are fully protected. Finally, organizations of all sizes often lack adequate cybersecurity strategies and processes, making them an easy target for cybercriminals.

Adopting an approach that embraces the three pillars of cybersecurity can provide a company with the necessary components of a comprehensive cybersecurity solution. With this in mind, let’s look at the three pillars.


People are at the core of your cybersecurity. They are also the weakest link in cybersecurity. It would be best to have the people who use the processes and technology you put into place have the proper knowledge and training so they don’t inadvertently let an attacker trick them into your network. Users must understand their role in protecting the company, the risks, and how their actions impact security.

It would also help if you had a highly skilled and knowledgeable security team that is adequately staffed to ensure you have security coverage 24/7 every day of the year. With cybersecurity becoming more complex, the members of this team need to develop the skills required for their specific role while being able to support the overall cybersecurity goals of the organization.


The policies and procedures you have in place will go a long way to providing you with adequate cybersecurity. Policies offer users the actions they need to take to protect your systems and data. An example is a robust password policy that directs users to create strong, complex passwords for their accounts. Another example is a BYOD (bring your own device) policy that requires users and security staff to use personal devices in the workplace.

Processes should be implemented to oversee every aspect of cybersecurity, from risk and vulnerability assessments to disaster recovery planning. This includes establishing frameworks and controls for prevention, detection, monitoring, and defense.


Having the proper technology to protect your digital assets is the foundation of your cybersecurity strategy. It provides a front-line defense against attacks, with solutions such as multi-factor authentication, a zero-trust approach to security, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).

These solutions protect your network and endpoints, provide analytics on behaviors and risks, and conduct threat assessments. But rather than taking a blanket approach, your security team needs to recognize what technologies and processes are the right fit for your specific network and digital infrastructures to provide the best protection.

A Balancing Act

Each pillar relies on the others to carry the load. Having just one of these pillars in place, your company’s cybersecurity won’t be able to stand. Having two of them in place will be wobbly, leaving your digital assets at risk of a breach. However, having all three will provide a strong cybersecurity presence.

In other words, it’s not enough to have the latest technology and a strong cybersecurity team. If your employees don’t know how to recognize a cyberattack, such as phishing, you can fall victim to an attack. Likewise, if you have users who understand the risks and how to spot them but don’t have the guidance of proper policies and procedures to follow, they may not consistently set up the best defense.

Build a Culture of Security

Together, the three pillars of cybersecurity can be used to create a culture of cybersecurity within your organization. With the lines between the physical and digital worlds becoming increasingly blurred and the users of your network becoming increasingly mobile, it is critical that everyone from the top down is on board with cybersecurity.

Connect with Platinum Technologies today to learn how we can help you protect your business with the three pillars of cybersecurity.

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