November 17, 2023 3 min read

NIST 800-53, Revision 5 Access Control (AC) Policy Templates 

Access control (AC) is one of the key security areas covered in NIST 800-53 in terms of the twenty (20) control families of Revision 5. Specifically, the Access Control ‘Control’ family focuses on controlling and managing access to information systems, resources, and data to ensure that only authorized individuals or processes are granted access.

Access control measures help protect against unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security risks.  At the Arlington Security Portal (ASP), you can download NIST 800-53, Revision 5 Access Control (AC) policy templates, along with more than 100 + NIST RMF policies, procedures, programs, and plans. 

The access control family in NIST 800-53 provides a comprehensive set of controls and best practices for managing access to information systems. Some of the key access control controls and objectives outlined in NIST 800-53 include the following:

  • Access Control Policy and Procedures: Establishing and maintaining a formal access control policy and procedures that define how access to information systems and resources should be granted, managed, and revoked.
  • Identification and Authentication: Implementing mechanisms to verify and authenticate the identity of users, devices, and processes before granting access. This can include password-based authentication, multi-factor authentication (MFA), biometrics, and other stronger authentication methods.
  • Access Enforcement: Ensuring that access controls are consistently enforced and access decisions are made based on established policies and rules. This includes mechanisms for managing access privileges, user roles, and permissions.
  • Least Privilege: Granting users the minimum level of access necessary to perform their authorized tasks and functions. This principle helps limit the potential damage or unauthorized access in case of compromise.
  • Remote Access: Implementing secure remote access mechanisms and controls to allow authorized users to access information systems from outside the organization's physical boundaries.
  • Auditing and Accountability: Logging and monitoring access-related events to detect and investigate potential security incidents. This includes maintaining audit logs, conducting regular reviews, and establishing accountability for access control actions.
  • Access Control for Systems and Applications: Implementing access controls at the system and application levels to ensure that only authorized users and processes can access and manipulate sensitive information.

These are just a few examples of the access control controls and objectives covered in NIST 800-53. The publication provides more detailed guidance, including specific implementation guidelines and security controls for each objective. It is important for organizations to assess their information systems against the recommendations in NIST 800-53 and implement appropriate controls to enhance the security and integrity of their systems and data.

100 + NIST 800-53 Templates Available for Download for Federal Contractors

The solution for federal contractors is the Arlington Security Portal (ASP), an online repository of world-class, industry leading security and privacy policies & procedures, programs, plans – and other highly essential documents & templates developed specifically on NIST SP 800-53, Revision 5. 

From Beginning to End, Complete Project Management for NIST RMF

With Arlington, we can manage your entire NIST RMF A&A process from beginning to end (i.e., from the initial scoping & gap assessment to post-Authorization to Operate (ATO) activities), providing essential services for getting you to the finish line in terms of your ATO.  Core services and solutions offered include the following:

  • Scoping & Gap (i.e., Readiness) Assessments
  • Remediation Services (Policy and Procedures writing)
  • Remediation Services (Technical and Operational)
  • System Security Plan (SSP) Development
  • Security Assessment Reports (SAR)
  • Continuous Monitoring (ConMon) Services

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