What are the NIST control families?

What are the NIST control families?What are the NIST control families?
Rebecca KappelRebecca Kappel Staff asked 9 months ago

1 Answers
Rebecca KappelRebecca Kappel Staff answered 8 months ago
The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) has established a comprehensive framework for ensuring the security of information systems known as Special Publication 800-53. The NIST security control families are at the core of this framework, which provides a structured and systematic approach to addressing various security concerns. These control families collectively address a wide range of security aspects, forming a foundation for organizations to enhance their security posture effectively.

Defining Security Control Families:

Security control families refer to groups of related security controls that collectively address specific areas of concern within an organization’s information systems. Each control family focuses on a distinct security aspect, from access control and identification to incident response and continuity planning. The intent is to provide a granular yet cohesive approach to managing security risks comprehensively.

NIST Control Families Structure

The NIST control families are organized into distinct groups, each centered around a particular security objective. These families encompass a wide array of controls that, when effectively implemented, contribute to the overall security posture of an organization. They serve as a vital resource for security professionals, compliance officers, and IT administrators to guide security measures’ selection, implementation, and assessment.

A List of the 18 Control Families 

  1. Access Control (AC): Ensures proper access to information and resources, preventing unauthorized access.
  2. Awareness and Training (AT): Educates personnel about security risks and best practices.
  3. Audit and Accountability (AU): Generates audit records and monitors system activity to ensure accountability.
  4. Configuration Management (CM): Manages system configurations to prevent unauthorized changes.
  5. Contingency Planning (CP): Prepares for and responds to incidents, ensuring business continuity.
  6. Identification and Authentication (IA): Establishes the identity of users and ensures authorized access.
  7. Incident Response and Management (IR): Detects, responds to, and mitigates security incidents.
  8. Maintenance (MA): Maintains systems and hardware for secure operations.
  9. Media Protection (MP): Protects physical and digital media containing sensitive information.
  10. Personnel Security (PS): Ensures the trustworthiness of personnel through security measures.
  11. Physical and Environmental Protection (PE): Protects physical assets and the environment.
  12. Planning (PL): Develop a comprehensive security plan aligned with business objectives.
  13. Program Management (PM): Oversees security initiatives and resources.
  14. Risk Assessment (RA): Identifies, assesses, and mitigates risks.
  15. Security Assessment and Authorization (CA): Evaluates and authorizes information systems.
  16. System and Communications Protection (SC): Protects systems against unauthorized access.
  17. System and Information Integrity (SI): Ensures systems and data integrity.
  18. System and Services Acquisition (SA): Incorporates security into system acquisition.

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