National Vulnerability Database

National Vulnerability Database

National Vulnerability
Database

NIST Special Publication 800-53 (Rev. 4)

Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations

SA-4 ACQUISITION PROCESS

Family:
SA - SYSTEM AND SERVICES ACQUISITION
Class:
Priority:
P1 - Implement P1 security controls first.
Baseline Allocation:
Low Moderate High
SA-4 (10) SA-4 (1) (2) (9) (10) SA-4 (1) (2) (9) (10)

Control Description

The organization includes the following requirements, descriptions, and criteria, explicitly or by reference, in the acquisition contract for the information system, system component, or information system service in accordance with applicable federal laws, Executive Orders, directives, policies, regulations, standards, guidelines, and organizational mission/business needs:

a. Security functional requirements;

b. Security strength requirements;

c. Security assurance requirements;

d. Security-related documentation requirements;

e. Requirements for protecting security-related documentation;

f. Description of the information system development environment and environment in which the system is intended to operate; and

g. Acceptance criteria.

Supplemental Guidance

Information system components are discrete, identifiable information technology assets (e.g., hardware, software, or firmware) that represent the building blocks of an information system. Information system components include commercial information technology products. Security functional requirements include security capabilities, security functions, and security mechanisms. Security strength requirements associated with such capabilities, functions, and mechanisms include degree of correctness, completeness, resistance to direct attack, and resistance to tampering or bypass. Security assurance requirements include: (i) development processes, procedures, practices, and methodologies; and (ii) evidence from development and assessment activities providing grounds for confidence that the required security functionality has been implemented and the required security strength has been achieved. Security documentation requirements address all phases of the system development life cycle. Security functionality, assurance, and documentation requirements are expressed in terms of security controls and control enhancements that have been selected through the tailoring process. The security control tailoring process includes, for example, the specification of parameter values through the use of assignment and selection statements and the specification of platform dependencies and implementation information. Security documentation provides user and administrator guidance regarding the implementation and operation of security controls. The level of detail required in security documentation is based on the security category or classification level of the information system and the degree to which organizations depend on the stated security capability, functions, or mechanisms to meet overall risk response expectations (as defined in the organizational risk management strategy). Security requirements can also include organizationally mandated configuration settings specifying allowed functions, ports, protocols, and services. Acceptance criteria for information systems, information system components, and information system services are defined in the same manner as such criteria for any organizational acquisition or procurement. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Section 7.103 contains information security requirements from FISMA.

Related to: CM-6PL-2PS-7SA-3SA-5SA-8SA-11SA-12

Control Enhancements

SA-4(1) ACQUISITION PROCESS | FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF SECURITY CONTROLS
The organization requires the developer of the information system, system component, or information system service to provide a description of the functional properties of the security controls to be employed.
Supplemental Guidance: Functional properties of security controls describe the functionality (i.e., security capability, functions, or mechanisms) visible at the interfaces of the controls and specifically exclude functionality and data structures internal to the operation of the controls.
Related to: SA-5
SA-4(2) ACQUISITION PROCESS | DESIGN / IMPLEMENTATION INFORMATION FOR SECURITY CONTROLS
The organization requires the developer of the information system, system component, or information system service to provide design and implementation information for the security controls to be employed that includes: [Selection (one or more): security-relevant external system interfaces; high-level design; low-level design; source code or hardware schematics; [Assignment: organization-defined design/implementation information]] at [Assignment: organization-defined level of detail].
Supplemental Guidance: Organizations may require different levels of detail in design and implementation documentation for security controls employed in organizational information systems, system components, or information system services based on mission/business requirements, requirements for trustworthiness/resiliency, and requirements for analysis and testing. Information systems can be partitioned into multiple subsystems. Each subsystem within the system can contain one or more modules. The high-level design for the system is expressed in terms of multiple subsystems and the interfaces between subsystems providing security-relevant functionality. The low-level design for the system is expressed in terms of modules with particular emphasis on software and firmware (but not excluding hardware) and the interfaces between modules providing security-relevant functionality. Source code and hardware schematics are typically referred to as the implementation representation of the information system.
Related to: SA-5
SA-4(3) ACQUISITION PROCESS | DEVELOPMENT METHODS / TECHNIQUES / PRACTICES
The organization requires the developer of the information system, system component, or information system service to demonstrate the use of a system development life cycle that includes [Assignment: organization-defined state-of-the-practice system/security engineering methods, software development methods, testing/evaluation/validation techniques, and quality control processes].
Supplemental Guidance: Following a well-defined system development life cycle that includes state-of-the-practice software development methods, systems/security engineering methods, quality control processes, and testing, evaluation, and validation techniques helps to reduce the number and severity of latent errors within information systems, system components, and information system services. Reducing the number/severity of such errors reduces the number of vulnerabilities in those systems, components, and services.
Related to: SA-12
SA-4(4) ACQUISITION PROCESS | ASSIGNMENT OF COMPONENTS TO SYSTEMS
[Withdrawn: Incorporated into CM-8 (9)].
SA-4(5) ACQUISITION PROCESS | SYSTEM / COMPONENT / SERVICE CONFIGURATIONS
The organization requires the developer of the information system, system component, or information system service to:
SA-4 (5)(a)
Deliver the system, component, or service with [Assignment: organization-defined security configurations] implemented; and
SA-4 (5)(b)
Use the configurations as the default for any subsequent system, component, or service reinstallation or upgrade.
Supplemental Guidance: Security configurations include, for example, the U.S. Government Configuration Baseline (USGCB) and any limitations on functions, ports, protocols, and services. Security characteristics include, for example, requiring that all default passwords have been changed.
Related to: CM-8
SA-4(6) ACQUISITION PROCESS | USE OF INFORMATION ASSURANCE PRODUCTS
The organization:
SA-4 (6)(a)
Employs only government off-the-shelf (GOTS) or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) information assurance (IA) and IA-enabled information technology products that compose an NSA-approved solution to protect classified information when the networks used to transmit the information are at a lower classification level than the information being transmitted; and
SA-4 (6)(b)
Ensures that these products have been evaluated and/or validated by NSA or in accordance with NSA-approved procedures.
Supplemental Guidance: COTS IA or IA-enabled information technology products used to protect classified information by cryptographic means may be required to use NSA-approved key management.
Related to: SC-8SC-12SC-13
SA-4(7) ACQUISITION PROCESS | NIAP-APPROVED PROTECTION PROFILES
The organization:
SA-4 (7)(a)
Limits the use of commercially provided information assurance (IA) and IA-enabled information technology products to those products that have been successfully evaluated against a National Information Assurance partnership (NIAP)-approved Protection Profile for a specific technology type, if such a profile exists; and
SA-4 (7)(b)
Requires, if no NIAP-approved Protection Profile exists for a specific technology type but a commercially provided information technology product relies on cryptographic functionality to enforce its security policy, that the cryptographic module is FIPS-validated.

Related to: SC-12SC-13
SA-4(8) ACQUISITION PROCESS | CONTINUOUS MONITORING PLAN
The organization requires the developer of the information system, system component, or information system service to produce a plan for the continuous monitoring of security control effectiveness that contains [Assignment: organization-defined level of detail].
Supplemental Guidance: The objective of continuous monitoring plans is to determine if the complete set of planned, required, and deployed security controls within the information system, system component, or information system service continue to be effective over time based on the inevitable changes that occur. Developer continuous monitoring plans include a sufficient level of detail such that the information can be incorporated into the continuous monitoring strategies and programs implemented by organizations.
Related to: CA-7
SA-4(9) ACQUISITION PROCESS | FUNCTIONS / PORTS / PROTOCOLS / SERVICES IN USE
The organization requires the developer of the information system, system component, or information system service to identify early in the system development life cycle, the functions, ports, protocols, and services intended for organizational use.
Supplemental Guidance: The identification of functions, ports, protocols, and services early in the system development life cycle (e.g., during the initial requirements definition and design phases) allows organizations to influence the design of the information system, information system component, or information system service. This early involvement in the life cycle helps organizations to avoid or minimize the use of functions, ports, protocols, or services that pose unnecessarily high risks and understand the trade-offs involved in blocking specific ports, protocols, or services (or when requiring information system service providers to do so). Early identification of functions, ports, protocols, and services avoids costly retrofitting of security controls after the information system, system component, or information system service has been implemented. SA-9 describes requirements for external information system services with organizations identifying which functions, ports, protocols, and services are provided from external sources.
Related to: CM-7SA-9
SA-4(10) ACQUISITION PROCESS | USE OF APPROVED PIV PRODUCTS
The organization employs only information technology products on the FIPS 201-approved products list for Personal Identity Verification (PIV) capability implemented within organizational information systems.

Related to: IA-2IA-8