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Cybersecurity on a Budget: 15 Free Resources for Small Businesses




In today's digital age, cybersecurity is a top priority for businesses of all sizes, but it can be especially challenging for small businesses. With limited resources and staff, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest cyber threats. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recognizes the importance of robust cybersecurity and privacy practices and offers an impressive array of free resources to help organizations manage and mitigate risks effectively. Aspire Cyber takes you on a journey highlighting the top 15 free cybersecurity resources from NIST, including guides, tools, and training materials. These resources can help small businesses develop and implement a cybersecurity program, identify and mitigate cyber risks, and respond to cyber incidents.



The NIST Cybersecurity Framework serves as a beacon for organizations seeking to manage and improve their cybersecurity risk. This voluntary framework offers standards, guidelines, and best practices adaptable to businesses of all sizes and industries. It's your strategic playbook for building a robust security posture.


Practical uses:

  • Identify and assess your organization's cybersecurity risks.

  • Develop and implement a cybersecurity program that is tailored to your organization's needs.

  • Communicate your cybersecurity risk to senior leadership and other stakeholders.

  • Improve your organization's cybersecurity posture over time.




The Privacy Framework is tailored to the specific needs of privacy practitioners. It offers standards, guidelines, and best practices to help organizations manage and enhance their privacy risk. Use it to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with privacy regulations.


Practical uses:

  • Develop and implement a privacy program that is tailored to your organization's needs.

  • Communicate your organization's privacy practices to customers and other stakeholders.

  • Improve your organization's privacy posture over time.


The Risk Management Framework is a comprehensive process that helps organizations identify, assess, manage, and monitor their information security risks. It's a valuable resource for understanding and mitigating cybersecurity threats effectively.

  • Practical uses:

    • Identify and assess your organization's information security risks.

    • Select and implement controls to mitigate your organization's information security risks.

    • Monitor your organization's information security risks and controls on an ongoing basis.


The SSDF provides guidance on developing secure software. It's based on best practices like risk management, threat modeling, and secure coding. Use it to ensure the software your business relies on is built with security in mind.


Practical uses:

  • Develop and implement a secure software development process within your organization.

  • Identify and mitigate security risks in your organization's software products.

  • Improve the overall security of your organization's software products.




NIST CAT is a free online training program covering various cybersecurity topics, including phishing, social engineering, and password security. It's a valuable resource for both individuals and organizations seeking to enhance their cybersecurity knowledge and practices.


Practical uses:

  • Train your employees on basic cybersecurity best practices.

  • Reduce your organization's risk of falling victim to social engineering attacks.

  • Improve your organization's overall security posture.



NIST Cybersecurity for Small Businesses offers guidance on how small businesses can protect themselves from cyber threats. It covers critical topics such as risk management, incident response, and security awareness training. Tailor this resource to your business's unique needs.


Practical uses:

  • Develop and implement a cybersecurity program that is tailored to your small business's needs.

  • Reduce your small business's risk of falling victim to cyber attacks.

  • Improve your small business's overall security posture.



The NCCoE is a public-private partnership that develops and shares cybersecurity best practices. It offers publications, workshops, and webinars to help organizations enhance their cybersecurity defenses.


Practical uses:

  • Learn about the latest cybersecurity best practices.

  • Get help implementing cybersecurity best practices within your organization.

  • Collaborate with other organizations on cybersecurity initiatives.



The NSRL is a library of known software artifacts used to detect and analyze malware. It's a valuable resource for organizations seeking to bolster their cybersecurity posture.


Practical uses:

  • Scan files for malware by comparing them to the known software artifacts in the library

  • Identify unknown software by comparing it to the known software artifacts in the library.

  • Investigate cyber incidents by helping to identify the malware that was used in the attack and how it was spread.



The NVD is a repository of known security vulnerabilities. It's a vital tool for organizations looking to identify and patch vulnerabilities in their systems, ensuring their networks remain secure.


Practical uses:

  • Identify and patch vulnerabilities in your organization's systems.

  • Prioritize vulnerabilities based on their severity and risk to your organization.

  • Monitor the NVD for new vulnerabilities that may affect your organization.



NIST Cybersecurity for Healthcare provides guidance on safeguarding healthcare organizations from cyber threats. It covers critical topics such as risk management, incident response, and security awareness training.


Practical uses:

  • Develop and implement a cybersecurity program that is tailored to your healthcare organization's needs.

  • Reduce your healthcare organization's risk of falling victim to cyber attacks.

  • Improve your healthcare organization's overall security posture.




NIST Cybersecurity for Financial Services offers guidance on protecting financial organizations from cyber threats. It includes essential information on risk management, incident response, and security awareness training.


Practical uses:

  • Develop and implement a cybersecurity program that is tailored to your financial services organization's needs.

  • Reduce your financial services organization's risk of falling victim to cyber attacks.

  • Improve your financial services organization's overall security posture.





NIST Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things (IoT) provides guidance on securing IoT devices and networks. It addresses critical aspects like risk management, security design, and incident response.


Practical uses:

  • Secure your IoT devices and networks from cyber threats.

  • Reduce your organization's risk of falling victim to cyber attacks.

  • Improve your organization's overall security posture.




NIST Cybersecurity for Cloud Computing offers guidance on securing cloud computing environments. It covers essential topics such as risk management, security architecture, and incident response.


Practical uses:

  • Secure your cloud computing environments from cyber threats.

  • Reduce your organization's risk of falling victim to cyber attacks.

  • Improve your organization's overall security posture.



NIST Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure provides guidance on securing critical infrastructure from cyber threats. It addresses critical aspects like risk management, security design, and incident response.


Practical uses:

  • Secure your critical infrastructure from cyber threats.

  • Reduce your organization's risk of falling victim to cyber attacks.

  • Improve your organization's overall security posture.




NIST Cybersecurity for Manufacturers offers guidance on securing manufacturing processes and supply chains from cyber threats. It includes vital information on risk management, supply chain security, and incident response.

In conclusion, NIST's comprehensive suite of resources empowers organizations to navigate the cybersecurity landscape effectively. By harnessing these resources, your business can enhance its security posture, protect sensitive data, and remain resilient against evolving cyber threats. Explore these invaluable tools today and secure your business's digital future with confidence.


Practical uses:

  • Protect your manufacturing operations from cyber threats.

  • Reduce your organization's risk of falling victim to cyber-attacks.

  • Improve your organization's overall security posture.


The NIST Cybersecurity Framework provides a comprehensive set of resources to help small businesses protect themselves from cyber threats. The top 15 free resources highlighted in this blog post can help small businesses develop and implement a cybersecurity program, identify and mitigate cyber risks, and respond to cyber incidents.


Call to action:

Take the time to review the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and the top 15 free resources highlighted in this blog post. These resources can help you protect your small business from cyber threats and keep your data safe.


If you need assistance navigating these resources or implementing the recommendations, please don't hesitate to contact Aspire Cyber. We have a team of cybersecurity experts who can help you protect your small business from cyber threats.


We understand that cybersecurity can be complex and overwhelming, especially for small businesses. That's why Aspire Cyber is here to help. We offer a variety of cybersecurity services to help small businesses protect their data and systems from cyber threats. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.



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