NIST Assessment, Authorization, and Monitoring Risk Controls (ca)

Policy and Procedures (ca-1)

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

one or more,Organization-level,Mission/business process-level,System-level assessment, authorization, and monitoring 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 assessment, authorization, and monitoring policy and the associated assessment, authorization, and monitoring controls;

Designate an organization-defined official to manage the development, documentation, and dissemination of the assessment, authorization, and monitoring policy and procedures; and

Review and update the current assessment, authorization, and monitoring:

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

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

Assessment, authorization, and monitoring policy and procedures address the controls in the CA 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 assessment, authorization, and monitoring 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 assessment, authorization, and monitoring 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.

Control Assessments (ca-2)

Select the appropriate assessor or assessment team for the type of assessment to be conducted;

Develop a control assessment plan that describes the scope of the assessment including:

Controls and control enhancements under assessment;

Assessment procedures to be used to determine control effectiveness; and

Assessment environment, assessment team, and assessment roles and responsibilities;

Ensure the control assessment plan is reviewed and approved by the authorizing official or designated representative prior to conducting the assessment;

Assess the controls in the system and its environment of operation organization-defined frequency to determine the extent to which the controls are implemented correctly, operating as intended, and producing the desired outcome with respect to meeting established security and privacy requirements;

Produce a control assessment report that document the results of the assessment; and

Provide the results of the control assessment to organization-defined individuals or roles.

Organizations ensure that control assessors possess the required skills and technical expertise to develop effective assessment plans and to conduct assessments of system-specific, hybrid, common, and program management controls, as appropriate. The required skills include general knowledge of risk management concepts and approaches as well as comprehensive knowledge of and experience with the hardware, software, and firmware system components implemented. Organizations assess controls in systems and the environments in which those systems operate as part of initial and ongoing authorizations, continuous monitoring, FISMA annual assessments, system design and development, systems security engineering, privacy engineering, and the system development life cycle. Assessments help to ensure that organizations meet information security and privacy requirements, identify weaknesses and deficiencies in the system design and development process, provide essential information needed to make risk-based decisions as part of authorization processes, and comply with vulnerability mitigation procedures. Organizations conduct assessments on the implemented controls as documented in security and privacy plans. Assessments can also be conducted throughout the system development life cycle as part of systems engineering and systems security engineering processes. The design for controls can be assessed as RFPs are developed, responses assessed, and design reviews conducted. If a design to implement controls and subsequent implementation in accordance with the design are assessed during development, the final control testing can be a simple confirmation utilizing previously completed control assessment and aggregating the outcomes. Organizations may develop a single, consolidated security and privacy assessment plan for the system or maintain separate plans. A consolidated assessment plan clearly delineates the roles and responsibilities for control assessment. If multiple organizations participate in assessing a system, a coordinated approach can reduce redundancies and associated costs. Organizations can use other types of assessment activities, such as vulnerability scanning and system monitoring, to maintain the security and privacy posture of systems during the system life cycle. Assessment reports document assessment results in sufficient detail, as deemed necessary by organizations, to determine the accuracy and completeness of the reports and whether the controls are implemented correctly, operating as intended, and producing the desired outcome with respect to meeting requirements. Assessment results are provided to the individuals or roles appropriate for the types of assessments being conducted. For example, assessments conducted in support of authorization decisions are provided to authorizing officials, senior agency officials for privacy, senior agency information security officers, and authorizing official designated representatives. To satisfy annual assessment requirements, organizations can use assessment results from the following sources: initial or ongoing system authorizations, continuous monitoring, systems engineering processes, or system development life cycle activities. Organizations ensure that assessment results are current, relevant to the determination of control effectiveness, and obtained with the appropriate level of assessor independence. Existing control assessment results can be reused to the extent that the results are still valid and can also be supplemented with additional assessments as needed. After the initial authorizations, organizations assess controls during continuous monitoring. Organizations also establish the frequency for ongoing assessments in accordance with organizational continuous monitoring strategies. External audits, including audits by external entities such as regulatory agencies, are outside of the scope of #ca-2(#ca-2).

Independent Assessors (ca-2.1)

Specialized Assessments (ca-2.2)

Information Exchange (ca-3)

Approve and manage the exchange of information between the system and other systems using one or more,interconnection security agreements,information exchange security agreements,memoranda of understanding or agreement,service level agreements,user agreements,nondisclosure agreements, organization-defined type of agreement ;

Document, as part of each exchange agreement, the interface characteristics, security and privacy requirements, controls, and responsibilities for each system, and the impact level of the information communicated; and

Review and update the agreements organization-defined frequency.

System information exchange requirements apply to information exchanges between two or more systems. System information exchanges include connections via leased lines or virtual private networks, connections to internet service providers, database sharing or exchanges of database transaction information, connections and exchanges with cloud services, exchanges via web-based services, or exchanges of files via file transfer protocols, network protocols (e.g., IPv4, IPv6), email, or other organization-to-organization communications. Organizations consider the risk related to new or increased threats that may be introduced when systems exchange information with other systems that may have different security and privacy requirements and controls. This includes systems within the same organization and systems that are external to the organization. A joint authorization of the systems exchanging information, as described in [CA-6(1)](#ca-6.1) or [CA-6(2)](#ca-6.2), may help to communicate and reduce risk. Authorizing officials determine the risk associated with system information exchange and the controls needed for appropriate risk mitigation. The types of agreements selected are based on factors such as the impact level of the information being exchanged, the relationship between the organizations exchanging information (e.g., government to government, government to business, business to business, government or business to service provider, government or business to individual), or the level of access to the organizational system by users of the other system. If systems that exchange information have the same authorizing official, organizations need not develop agreements. Instead, the interface characteristics between the systems (e.g., how the information is being exchanged. how the information is protected) are described in the respective security and privacy plans. If the systems that exchange information have different authorizing officials within the same organization, the organizations can develop agreements or provide the same information that would be provided in the appropriate agreement type from [CA-3a](#ca-3_smt.a) in the respective security and privacy plans for the systems. Organizations may incorporate agreement information into formal contracts, especially for information exchanges established between federal agencies and nonfederal organizations (including service providers, contractors, system developers, and system integrators). Risk considerations include systems that share the same networks.

Transfer Authorizations (ca-3.6)

Plan of Action and Milestones (ca-5)

Develop a plan of action and milestones for the system to document the planned remediation actions of the organization to correct weaknesses or deficiencies noted during the assessment of the controls and to reduce or eliminate known vulnerabilities in the system; and

Update existing plan of action and milestones organization-defined frequency based on the findings from control assessments, independent audits or reviews, and continuous monitoring activities.

Plans of action and milestones are useful for any type of organization to track planned remedial actions. Plans of action and milestones are required in authorization packages and subject to federal reporting requirements established by OMB.

Authorization (ca-6)

Assign a senior official as the authorizing official for the system;

Assign a senior official as the authorizing official for common controls available for inheritance by organizational systems;

Ensure that the authorizing official for the system, before commencing operations:

Accepts the use of common controls inherited by the system; and

Authorizes the system to operate;

Ensure that the authorizing official for common controls authorizes the use of those controls for inheritance by organizational systems;

Update the authorizations organization-defined frequency.

Authorizations are official management decisions by senior officials to authorize operation of systems, authorize the use of common controls for inheritance by organizational systems, and explicitly accept the risk to organizational operations and assets, individuals, other organizations, and the Nation based on the implementation of agreed-upon controls. Authorizing officials provide budgetary oversight for organizational systems and common controls or assume responsibility for the mission and business functions supported by those systems or common controls. The authorization process is a federal responsibility, and therefore, authorizing officials must be federal employees. Authorizing officials are both responsible and accountable for security and privacy risks associated with the operation and use of organizational systems. Nonfederal organizations may have similar processes to authorize systems and senior officials that assume the authorization role and associated responsibilities. Authorizing officials issue ongoing authorizations of systems based on evidence produced from implemented continuous monitoring programs. Robust continuous monitoring programs reduce the need for separate reauthorization processes. Through the employment of comprehensive continuous monitoring processes, the information contained in authorization packages (i.e., security and privacy plans, assessment reports, and plans of action and milestones) is updated on an ongoing basis. This provides authorizing officials, common control providers, and system owners with an up-to-date status of the security and privacy posture of their systems, controls, and operating environments. To reduce the cost of reauthorization, authorizing officials can leverage the results of continuous monitoring processes to the maximum extent possible as the basis for rendering reauthorization decisions.

Continuous Monitoring (ca-7)

Develop a system-level continuous monitoring strategy and implement continuous monitoring in accordance with the organization-level continuous monitoring strategy that includes:

Establishing the following system-level metrics to be monitored: organization-defined system-level metrics;

Establishing organization-defined frequencies for monitoring and organization-defined frequencies for assessment of control effectiveness;

Ongoing control assessments in accordance with the continuous monitoring strategy;

Ongoing monitoring of system and organization-defined metrics in accordance with the continuous monitoring strategy;

Correlation and analysis of information generated by control assessments and monitoring;

Response actions to address results of the analysis of control assessment and monitoring information; and

Reporting the security and privacy status of the system to organization-defined personnel or roles organization-defined frequency.

Continuous monitoring at the system level facilitates ongoing awareness of the system security and privacy posture to support organizational risk management decisions. The terms "continuous" and "ongoing" imply that organizations assess and monitor their controls and risks at a frequency sufficient to support risk-based decisions. Different types of controls may require different monitoring frequencies. The results of continuous monitoring generate risk response actions by organizations. When monitoring the effectiveness of multiple controls that have been grouped into capabilities, a root-cause analysis may be needed to determine the specific control that has failed. Continuous monitoring programs allow organizations to maintain the authorizations of systems and common controls in highly dynamic environments of operation with changing mission and business needs, threats, vulnerabilities, and technologies. Having access to security and privacy information on a continuing basis through reports and dashboards gives organizational officials the ability to make effective and timely risk management decisions, including ongoing authorization decisions. Automation supports more frequent updates to hardware, software, and firmware inventories, authorization packages, and other system information. Effectiveness is further enhanced when continuous monitoring outputs are formatted to provide information that is specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely. Continuous monitoring activities are scaled in accordance with the security categories of systems. Monitoring requirements, including the need for specific monitoring, may be referenced in other controls and control enhancements, such as [AC-2g](#ac-2_smt.g), [AC-2(7)](#ac-2.7), [AC-2(12)(a)](#ac-2.12_smt.a), [AC-2(7)(b)](#ac-2.7_smt.b), [AC-2(7)(c)](#ac-2.7_smt.c), [AC-17(1)](#ac-17.1), [AT-4a](#at-4_smt.a), #au-13(#au-13), [AU-13(1)](#au-13.1), [AU-13(2)](#au-13.2), [CM-3f](#cm-3_smt.f), [CM-6d](#cm-6_smt.d), [CM-11c](#cm-11_smt.c), #ir-5(#ir-5), [MA-2b](#ma-2_smt.b), [MA-3a](#ma-3_smt.a), [MA-4a](#ma-4_smt.a), [PE-3d](#pe-3_smt.d), #pe-6(#pe-6), [PE-14b](#pe-14_smt.b), #pe-16(#pe-16), #pe-20(#pe-20), #pm-6(#pm-6), #pm-23(#pm-23), #pm-31(#pm-31), [PS-7e](#ps-7_smt.e), [SA-9c](#sa-9_smt.c), #sr-4(#sr-4), [SC-5(3)(b)](#sc-5.3_smt.b), [SC-7a](#sc-7_smt.a), [SC-7(24)(b)](#sc-7.24_smt.b), [SC-18b](#sc-18_smt.b), [SC-43b](#sc-43_smt.b), and #si-4(#si-4).

Independent Assessment (ca-7.1)

Risk Monitoring (ca-7.4)

Penetration Testing (ca-8)

Conduct penetration testing organization-defined frequency on organization-defined systems or system components.

Penetration testing is a specialized type of assessment conducted on systems or individual system components to identify vulnerabilities that could be exploited by adversaries. Penetration testing goes beyond automated vulnerability scanning and is conducted by agents and teams with demonstrable skills and experience that include technical expertise in network, operating system, and/or application level security. Penetration testing can be used to validate vulnerabilities or determine the degree of penetration resistance of systems to adversaries within specified constraints. Such constraints include time, resources, and skills. Penetration testing attempts to duplicate the actions of adversaries and provides a more in-depth analysis of security- and privacy-related weaknesses or deficiencies. Penetration testing is especially important when organizations are transitioning from older technologies to newer technologies (e.g., transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6 network protocols). Organizations can use the results of vulnerability analyses to support penetration testing activities. Penetration testing can be conducted internally or externally on the hardware, software, or firmware components of a system and can exercise both physical and technical controls. A standard method for penetration testing includes a pretest analysis based on full knowledge of the system, pretest identification of potential vulnerabilities based on the pretest analysis, and testing designed to determine the exploitability of vulnerabilities. All parties agree to the rules of engagement before commencing penetration testing scenarios. Organizations correlate the rules of engagement for the penetration tests with the tools, techniques, and procedures that are anticipated to be employed by adversaries. Penetration testing may result in the exposure of information that is protected by laws or regulations, to individuals conducting the testing. Rules of engagement, contracts, or other appropriate mechanisms can be used to communicate expectations for how to protect this information. Risk assessments guide the decisions on the level of independence required for the personnel conducting penetration testing.

Independent Penetration Testing Agent or Team (ca-8.1)

Internal System Connections (ca-9)

Authorize internal connections of organization-defined system components or classes of components to the system;

Document, for each internal connection, the interface characteristics, security and privacy requirements, and the nature of the information communicated;

Terminate internal system connections after organization-defined conditions; and

Review organization-defined frequency the continued need for each internal connection.

Internal system connections are connections between organizational systems and separate constituent system components (i.e., connections between components that are part of the same system) including components used for system development. Intra-system connections include connections with mobile devices, notebook and desktop computers, tablets, printers, copiers, facsimile machines, scanners, sensors, and servers. Instead of authorizing each internal system connection individually, organizations can authorize internal connections for a class of system components with common characteristics and/or configurations, including printers, scanners, and copiers with a specified processing, transmission, and storage capability or smart phones and tablets with a specific baseline configuration. The continued need for an internal system connection is reviewed from the perspective of whether it provides support for organizational missions or business functions.

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