The Twenty Critical Security Controls have already begun to transform security in government agencies and other large enterprises by focusing their spending on the key controls that block known attacks and find the ones that get through. With the change in FISMA reporting implemented on June 1, the 20 Critical Controls become the centerpiece of effective security programs across government These controls allow those responsible for compliance and those responsible for security to agree, for the first time, on what needs to be done to make systems safer. No development in security is having a more profound and far reaching impact.
These Top 20 Controls were agreed upon by a powerful consortium brought together by John Gilligan (previously CIO of the US Department of Energy and the US Air Force) under the auspices of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Members of the Consortium include NSA, US Cert, DoD JTF-GNO, the Department of Energy Nuclear Laboratories, Department of State, DoD Cyber Crime Center plus the top commercial forensics experts and pen testers that serve the banking and critical infrastructure communities.
The automation of these Top 20 Controls will radically lower the cost of security while improving its effectiveness. The US State Department, under CISO John Streufert, has already demonstrated more than 94% reduction in "measured" security risk through the rigorous automation and measurement of the Top 20 Controls.