NIST Audit and Accountability Risk Controls (au)

Policy and Procedures (au-1)

Develop, document, and disseminate to organization-defined personnel or roles:

one or more,Organization-level,Mission/business process-level,System-level audit and accountability policy that:

Addresses purpose, scope, roles, responsibilities, management commitment, coordination among organizational entities, and compliance; and

Is consistent with applicable laws, executive orders, directives, regulations, policies, standards, and guidelines; and

Procedures to facilitate the implementation of the audit and accountability policy and the associated audit and accountability controls;

Designate an organization-defined official to manage the development, documentation, and dissemination of the audit and accountability policy and procedures; and

Review and update the current audit and accountability:

Policy organization-defined frequency and following organization-defined events; and

Procedures organization-defined frequency and following organization-defined events.

Audit and accountability policy and procedures address the controls in the AU family that are implemented within systems and organizations. The risk management strategy is an important factor in establishing such policies and procedures. Policies and procedures contribute to security and privacy assurance. Therefore, it is important that security and privacy programs collaborate on the development of audit and accountability policy and procedures. Security and privacy program policies and procedures at the organization level are preferable, in general, and may obviate the need for mission- or system-specific policies and procedures. The policy can be included as part of the general security and privacy policy or be represented by multiple policies that reflect the complex nature of organizations. Procedures can be established for security and privacy programs, for mission or business processes, and for systems, if needed. Procedures describe how the policies or controls are implemented and can be directed at the individual or role that is the object of the procedure. Procedures can be documented in system security and privacy plans or in one or more separate documents. Events that may precipitate an update to audit and accountability policy and procedures include assessment or audit findings, security incidents or breaches, or changes in applicable laws, executive orders, directives, regulations, policies, standards, and guidelines. Simply restating controls does not constitute an organizational policy or procedure.

Event Logging (au-2)

Identify the types of events that the system is capable of logging in support of the audit function: organization-defined event types that the system is capable of logging;

Coordinate the event logging function with other organizational entities requiring audit-related information to guide and inform the selection criteria for events to be logged;

Specify the following event types for logging within the system: organization-defined event types (subset of the event types defined in [AU-2a.](#au-2_smt.a)) along with the frequency of (or situation requiring) logging for each identified event type;

Provide a rationale for why the event types selected for logging are deemed to be adequate to support after-the-fact investigations of incidents; and

Review and update the event types selected for logging organization-defined frequency.

An event is an observable occurrence in a system. The types of events that require logging are those events that are significant and relevant to the security of systems and the privacy of individuals. Event logging also supports specific monitoring and auditing needs. Event types include password changes, failed logons or failed accesses related to systems, security or privacy attribute changes, administrative privilege usage, PIV credential usage, data action changes, query parameters, or external credential usage. In determining the set of event types that require logging, organizations consider the monitoring and auditing appropriate for each of the controls to be implemented. For completeness, event logging includes all protocols that are operational and supported by the system. To balance monitoring and auditing requirements with other system needs, event logging requires identifying the subset of event types that are logged at a given point in time. For example, organizations may determine that systems need the capability to log every file access successful and unsuccessful, but not activate that capability except for specific circumstances due to the potential burden on system performance. The types of events that organizations desire to be logged may change. Reviewing and updating the set of logged events is necessary to help ensure that the events remain relevant and continue to support the needs of the organization. Organizations consider how the types of logging events can reveal information about individuals that may give rise to privacy risk and how best to mitigate such risks. For example, there is the potential to reveal personally identifiable information in the audit trail, especially if the logging event is based on patterns or time of usage. Event logging requirements, including the need to log specific event types, may be referenced in other controls and control enhancements. These include [AC-2(4)](#ac-2.4), [AC-3(10)](#ac-3.10), [AC-6(9)](#ac-6.9), [AC-17(1)](#ac-17.1), [CM-3f](#cm-3_smt.f), [CM-5(1)](#cm-5.1), [IA-3(3)(b)](#ia-3.3_smt.b), [MA-4(1)](#ma-4.1), [MP-4(2)](#mp-4.2), #pe-3(#pe-3), #pm-21(#pm-21), #pt-7(#pt-7), #ra-8(#ra-8), [SC-7(9)](#sc-7.9), [SC-7(15)](#sc-7.15), [SI-3(8)](#si-3.8), [SI-4(22)](#si-4.22), [SI-7(8)](#si-7.8), and [SI-10(1)](#si-10.1). Organizations include event types that are required by applicable laws, executive orders, directives, policies, regulations, standards, and guidelines. Audit records can be generated at various levels, including at the packet level as information traverses the network. Selecting the appropriate level of event logging is an important part of a monitoring and auditing capability and can identify the root causes of problems. When defining event types, organizations consider the logging necessary to cover related event types, such as the steps in distributed, transaction-based processes and the actions that occur in service-oriented architectures.

Limit Personally Identifiable Information Elements (au-3.3)

Audit Record Retention (au-11)

Retain audit records for organization-defined time period consistent with records retention policy to provide support for after-the-fact investigations of incidents and to meet regulatory and organizational information retention requirements.

Organizations retain audit records until it is determined that the records are no longer needed for administrative, legal, audit, or other operational purposes. This includes the retention and availability of audit records relative to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, subpoenas, and law enforcement actions. Organizations develop standard categories of audit records relative to such types of actions and standard response processes for each type of action. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) General Records Schedules provide federal policy on records retention.

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