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NIST Cybersecurity Professional (NCSP) 800-53 Specialist

The NIST 800-53 Specialist Training Program
Business goals may include organizing the company to make it more efficient and profitable, or to redefine our target market to three major areas. One of our key business goals must be to reduce the risk of a data breach, the loss of intellectual property, the compromise of valuable research data, or the protection of employee and customer information. To be successful, we require a business focused cyber-risk management program that includes a complete understanding of business activities and the potential risk to the organization if a bad actor compromises one or more of these activities.
Technology goals start with the identified business activities. What technology underpins enables, supports, or delivers each business activity? To understand security control requirements, we must first identify how the system supports the business activity and the impact on the business if a bad actor compromises the system. It is essential to consider the risks associated with our systems, applications, and processing environment.

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Learning Objectives

This course looks at the impact of adapting a principled approach to enterprise risk management framework to better support cybersecurity decisions within the context of the selected informative reference. It guides students on the best approach to adapt, implement, and operate (AIO) a comprehensive cybersecurity program that integrates into existing organizational capabilities. The course presents the approach to adapt, implement, operate & improve the organizational cybersecurity posture that builds on the application of the FastTrack™ presented in the NCSP Practitioner.


This course assumes the student has successfully taken and passed the NCSP Practitioner (QANCSPFP) course and provides an introduction to the integration of typical enterprise capabilities with cybersecurity from the perspective of the selected cybersecurity informative reference. The overall approach places these activities into systems thinking context by introducing the Service Value Management System that is composed of three aspects, governance, assurance, and the Z-X Model.

Course Content

Module 1 Course Introduction – introduces the course and its conduct, followed by a lesson that sets the stage for the rest of the material. Lessons in this chapter include:
  • Course Organization
  • Setting the Stage
Module 2 Managing Risks in the Digital Age – introduces students to enterprise risk management and the COSO Principles. Lessons in this chapter include:
  • Enterprise Risk Management Framework
  • COSO Overview
  • Enterprise Risk Management Framework Applied
Module 3 Cybersecurity within a System – introduces systems thinking and the Service Value Management System (SVMS) that includes the Z-X Model. Lessons in this chapter include:
  • The importance of Systems Thinking
  • Governance & Culture and Strategy & Objectives
  • Service Value Management System
  • Z-X Model Overview
Module 4 Z-X Model Capabilities – probes the details of the Z-X Model and the relationship to existing organizational capabilities. Lessons in the chapter include:
  • Z-X Model Plan
  • Z-X Model Design
  • Z-X Model Build & Deploy
  • Z-X Model Operate & Improve
Module 5 Adapt – introduces the first part of AIO, Adapt that introduces the Goal Question Metric approach to develop appropriate metrics for the cybersecurity implementation. Lessons in this chapter include:
  • Overview of AIO
  • Cybersecurity Adopt & Adapt
  • Adapt in the Context of the Z-X Model
  • Preparations to Implement
  • Project Approach w/GQM
  • Metrics, Measurement & Balance
Module 6 Implement – covers the 'I' in AIO. It presents the implementation of the selected cybersecurity informative references using the same phased approach introduced in the NCSP Practitioner (and Bootcamp) course. Lessons in this chapter include:
  • Implement & COSO Principles
  • Phase 0
  • Phase 1
  • Phase 2
  • Phase 3
  • Additional Controls
Module 7 Operate & Improve – covers the last aspect of AIO. Lessons in this chapter include:
  • Operate, Improve & COSO Principles
  • Deliver Value & Integrate
  • Ongoing Improvement

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