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CM-6 : CONFIGURATION SETTINGS
a. Establishes and documents mandatory configuration settings for information technology products employed within the information system using [Assignment: organization-defined security configuration checklists] that reflect the most restrictive mode consistent with operational requirements;
b. Implements the configuration settings;
c. Identifies, documents, and approves exceptions from the mandatory configuration settings for individual components within the information system based on explicit operational requirements; and
d. Monitors and controls changes to the configuration settings in accordance with organizational policies and procedures.
Configuration settings are the configurable security-related parameters of information technology products that are part of the information system. Security-related parameters are those parameters impacting the security state of the system including parameters related to meeting other security control requirements. Security-related parameters include, for example, registry settings; account, file, and directory settings (i.e., permissions); and settings for services, ports, protocols, and remote connections. Organizations establish organization-wide mandatory configuration settings from which the settings for a given information system are derived. A security configuration checklist (sometimes referred to as a lockdown guide, hardening guide, security guide, security technical implementation guide [STIG], or benchmark) is a series of instructions or procedures for configuring an information system component to meet operational requirements. Checklists can be developed by information technology developers and vendors, consortia, academia, industry, federal agencies (and other government organizations), and others in the public and private sectors. An example of a security configuration checklist is the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) which potentially affects the implementation of CM-6 and other controls such as AC-19 and CM-7. The Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) and defined standards within the protocol (e.g., Common Configuration Enumeration) provide an effective method to uniquely identify, track, and control configuration settings. OMB establishes federal policy on configuration requirements for federal information systems. Related controls: CM-2, CM-3, SI-4.
- Control Enhancements:
- (1) The organization employs automated mechanisms to centrally manage, apply, and verify configuration settings.
- (2) The organization employs automated mechanisms to respond to unauthorized changes to [Assignment: organization-defined configuration settings].
- Enhancement Supplemental Guidance: Responses to unauthorized changes to configuration settings can include, for example, alerting designated organizational personnel, restoring mandatory/organization-defined configuration settings, or in the extreme case, halting affected information system processing.
- (3) The organization incorporates detection of unauthorized, security-relevant configuration changes into the organization's incident response capability to ensure that such detected events are tracked, monitored, corrected, and available for historical purposes.
- Enhancement Supplemental Guidance: Related controls: IR-4, IR-5.
- (4) The information system (including modifications to the baseline configuration) demonstrates conformance to security configuration guidance (i.e., security checklists), prior to being introduced into a production environment.
- References: OMB Memoranda 07-11, 07-18, 08-22; NIST Special Publications 800-70, 800-128; Web: NVD.NIST.GOV; WWW.NSA.GOV.
- Priority and Baseline Allocation:
||MOD CM-6 (3)
||HIGH CM-6 (1) (2) (3)