Archive for July, 2009
CNSSI 12-53: New Security Control Catalog for National Security Systems

2014 – Update, DIACAP has been upgraded to Risk Management Framework for DoD IT (aka DIARMF).  Its base on the NIST SP 800-37, Risk Management Framework for Federal IT and takes from CNSSI 1253.

Risk Management Framework for DoD IT takes all IA Controls (Security Controls) from NIST SP 800-53.

New DIACAP Certification & Accreditation IA Controls

The DoD has had the same IA controls since DoD 8510.1-M, controls since DoD 8510.1-M, Department of Defense Information Technology System Certification & Accreditation Process (DITSCAP), July 31, 2000 – it was developed late last century.

The DoD has a total of 157 IA controls spread across 8 subject areas in 4 classes:

DC – Security Design & Configuration

IA – Identification and Authentication

EC – Enclave & Computing

EB – Enclave Boundary Defense

PE – Physical & Environmental

PR – Personnel

CO – Continuity

VI – Vulnerability

There is a huge change coming in certification & accreditation for the DoD coming. The IA controls are being expanded and changed. The last two DIACAP classes I’ve been to mentioned that there is a big change coming. Essentially, all the IA Controls (security controls, safeguards, countermeasures.. whatever your organization is calling them) are getting expanded. All federal organizations will have security controls that look more like what is in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-53. This is all being placed in the Committee on National Security Systems Instruction (CNSSI) 1253. As of 25 June 2009, the CNSSI 1253 is still in draft.

The draft has 17 families & identifiers in three security control classes.


AC Access Control Technical

AT Awareness and Training Operational

AU Audit and Accountability Technical

CA Certification, Accreditation, and Security Assessments Management

CM Configuration Management Operational

CP Contingency Planning Operational

IA Identification and Authentication Technical

IR Incident Response Operational

MA Maintenance Operational

MP Media Protection Operational

PE Physical and Environmental Protection Operational

PL Planning Management

PS Personnel Security Operational

RA Risk Assessment Management

SA System and Services Acquisition Management

SC System and Communications Protection Technical

The CNSSI has about 500 controls with pretty good granularity.

One of the really cool thing about 1253 was the security control mapping. It’s a table that matches up 800-53, DCID 6/3 and DODI 8500.2.

DIACAP Essentials + IA Control Validation Training (part 4): DIACAP/AFCAP Day 4 & 5

UPDAT: 2014 – Risk Management Framework for DOD IT released.

Days 4 & 5 bring the DIACAP/AFCAP Essentials Class to a close. The
biggest things I learned were: CNSSI 4009 is the the official glossary of DOD IA, there is a big difference between theory, policy and practice, Agents of the Certifying Authority (ACA) are official validators and there is a difference between acquisition Mission criticality and IA MAC levels.

Stuff I learned from people in the class:

-AFCA is changing its name (to what?)

DOD is going to put the new IA controls in NCSSI 12-53 (currently in draft)

-a lot of what I need in there is in NIST 800-53

Marines use something called Exacta

Site called

33-202 is now completely irrelevant and obsolete (not even mentioned ONCE in the class)


Feds call Certification &Accreditation (C&A) “Security authorization”

NIST SP 800-37

Day 4:

Validator Activities & Issue Accreditation Decision

Prepare POA&M

Validate Results/Scorecard


Make certification determination

CA/DAA Package review

Day 5:

Validation procedures were discussed. On day five, we looked at how the validators look at a system.

I thought is was interesting. It should help me get through the EITDR/DIACAP process easier.

Maintain Situational Awareness

Maintain IA Posture

Conduct Review


Retire system

DIACAP Essentials + IA Control Validation Training (part 4): DIACAP/AFCAP Day3

UPDAT: 2014 – Risk Management Framework for DOD IT released.

Day 3 heats up a little. We start talking about what it take to actually get validated. The DIACAP Implementers Guide & the DIACAP Validators guide is opened up and reviewed. I think we all learned a little something during this discussion because there have been some challenges with this. Unfortunately, we don’t to far into the validator stuff.

Day 3:

DIACAP Structure

Terminology Review

Assemble DIACAP Team

Registered System/System Information Profile

Assign IA Controls

Initiate DIACAP Implementation Plan

DIACAP Essentials + IA Control Validation Training (part 3): DIACAP/AFCAP Day2

UPDAT: 2014 – Risk Management Framework for DOD IT released.

Day 1 & 2 have been all about the very basics of DIACAP. Were introduced to the terminologies, key players of the C&A process and basically given the big picture. Like I said, GREAT for beginners, but just lots of theory and refresher if you’ve been doing C&A since DITSCAP.

Day 1 &2:

Getting the Big Picture

DIACAP/AFCAP Policy & Terminology

Roles and Responsibilities for the C&A process

Accreditation & Approval to Connect

Homework: review terminology

In between longer breaks, during lunch and just before class we sneak in episode of the The IT Crowd. Its the first time I’ve watched it so its a real treat for me. Hilarious show.