October 16, 2023 2 min read

NIST 800-53, Revision 5 System Security Plan (SSP) Template - HIGH Impact

A High impact System Security Plan (SSP) based on NIST 800-53 refers to a comprehensive document that outlines the security controls and safeguards implemented or planned for an information system with a high level of impact.

The High impact level signifies that the loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the system or its data would have severe or catastrophic consequences for an organization or its mission.

When developing a High impact SSP based on NIST 800-53, the plan should include the following key elements:

1. System Overview: Provide a detailed description of the information system, including its purpose, intended use, system owner, system identifier, and system categorization.
2. System Boundaries: Clearly define the boundaries of the information system, including its hardware, software, and network components. Identify interfaces with other systems and any external connections.
3. Risk Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential threats, vulnerabilities, and risks to the information system. Assess the likelihood and impact of these risks and prioritize them based on their significance.
4. Security Controls: Identify and document the security controls that are implemented or planned to protect the information system. Select the controls from the NIST 800-53 control catalog that are relevant to the High impact level.
5. Control Implementation: Describe how each selected security control is implemented within the information system. Provide details on how the control is designed, configured, and managed to meet the specific security requirements.
6. Control Assessment: Assess the effectiveness of the implemented security controls in mitigating risks. Conduct control assessments to evaluate the controls' performance and validate their effectiveness. This may include testing, audits, or other evaluation methods.
7. Contingency Planning:Develop a comprehensive contingency plan that outlines procedures for responding to and recovering from incidents that may impact the system's availability or integrity. Include backup and recovery strategies, incident response procedures, and communication protocols.
8. Personnel Security: Document the measures in place to ensure that individuals who have access to the system are trustworthy and adequately trained. This includes background checks, security awareness training, and role-based access controls.
9. Physical and EnvironmentalProtection: Describe the physical security measures in place to protect the information system. This includes access controls, visitor management, equipment protection, and environmental monitoring.
10. Security Awareness and Training:Outline the security awareness and training programs provided to system users and administrators. Include details on the content, frequency, and delivery methods of the training sessions.
11. System Maintenance: Describe the procedures and practices for maintaining the security of the information system. This includes patch management, configuration management, vulnerability scanning, and system documentation updates.
12. System Monitoring:Document the monitoring mechanisms in place to detect and respond to security incidents. This includes the collection and analysis of system logs, intrusion detection systems, and security event monitoring.

It's important to tailor the High impact SSP to the specific characteristics and requirements of your organization's information system. The SSP should be periodically reviewed and updated to reflect changes in the system's environment, address emerging threats and vulnerabilities, and ensure the ongoing effectiveness of security controls at the High impact level.