home || catalog: SP800-53rev3 / class: Management / family: (SA) System and Services Acquisition ||
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  SA-13: Trustworthiness  

base control objective:
The organization requires that the information system meets [Assignment: organization-defined level of trustworthiness].

supplemental objective information:
The intent of this control is to ensure that organizations recognize the importance of trustworthiness and making explicit trustworthiness decisions when designing developing, and implementing organizational information systems. Trustworthiness is a characteristic or property of an information system that expresses the degree to which the system can be expected to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information being processed, stored, or transmitted by the system. Trustworthy information systems are systems that are capable of being trusted to operate within defined levels of risk despite the environmental disruptions, human errors, and purposeful attacks that are expected to occur in the specified environments of operation. Two factors affecting the trustworthiness of an information system include:
(i) security functionality (i.e., the security features or functions employed within the system); and
(ii) security assurance (i.e., the grounds for confidence that the security functionality is effective in its application). Appropriate security functionality for the information system can be obtained by using the Risk Management Framework (Steps 1, 2, and 3) to select and implement the necessary management, operational, and technical security controls necessary to mitigate risk to organizational operations and assets, individuals, other organizations, and the Nation. Appropriate security assurance can be obtained by:
(i) the actions taken by developers and implementers of security controls with regard to the design, development, implementation, and operation of those controls; and
(ii) the actions taken by assessors to determine the extent to which the controls are implemented correctly, operating as intended, and producing the desired outcome with respect to meeting the security requirements for the information system. Developers and implementers can increase the assurance in security controls by employing well-defined security policy models, structured, disciplined, and rigorous hardware and software development techniques, and sound system/security engineering principles. Assurance is also based on the assessment of evidence produced during the initiation, acquisition/development, implementation, and operations/maintenance phases of the system development life cycle. For example, developmental evidence may include the techniques and methods used to design and develop security functionality. Operational evidence may include flaw reporting and remediation, the results of security incident reporting, and the results of the ongoing monitoring of security controls. Independent assessments by qualified assessors may include analyses of the evidence as well as testing, inspections, and audits. Minimum assurance requirements are described in Appendix E. Explicit trustworthiness decisions highlight situations where achieving the information system resilience and security capability necessary to withstand cyber attacks from adversaries with certain threat capabilities may require adjusting the risk management strategy, the design of mission/business processes with regard to automation, the selection and implementation rigor of management and operational protections, or the selection of information technology components with higher levels of trustworthiness. Trustworthiness may be defined on a component-by-component, subsystem-by-subsystem, or function-by-function basis. It is noted, however, that typically functions, subsystems, and components are highly interrelated, making separation by trustworthiness perhaps problematic and at a minimum, something that likely requires careful attention in order to achieve practically useful results.

enhancements to the base objective:

(1) None.

mapping to FIPS199 baseline:

  LOW: null     MOD: null     HIGH: base  

related (regimented) controls:

RA-02   Security Categorization
SA-04   Acquisitions
SA-08   Security Engineering Principles
SC-03   Security Function Isolation

documents referenced in SP800-53rev3 for SA-13:

None.

Document Date Status Title

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