Strategic Security Intelligence

NSTSSI Security Education Standards


Top - Help

Copyright(c), 1995 - Management Analytics and Others - All Rights Reserved

                                               ANNEX A


Job Functions Using Competencies Identified In:

NSTISSI 1000, National Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process
DoD Instruction 5200.40, DoD Information Technology (IT) Security Certification and
    Accreditation (C&A) Process (DITSCAP)
NCSC-TG-029, Version 1, Introduction to Certification and Accreditation
FIPS Publication 102, Guideline for Computer Security Certification and Accreditation  
NCSC-TG-031, Certification and Accreditation Process Handbook for Certifiers
I942-TR-002, Version 1, Accreditor's Guideline
SC-2610-143-93, DoD Intelligence Information Systems (DoDIIS) Site Certifier's Guide
DoDIIS Security Certification and Accreditation Guide
Job Functions                        
The INFOSEC functions of System Certifiers are performed during the following phases of
the certification process:
        1. Documenting Mission Need
                The System Certifiers need to develop a comprehensive understanding of the mission
and the functional responsibilities in order to ensure the success of the C&A processes.
Certifiers must possess a global understanding of the C&A process, the system, and the mission
it supports.
        2. Conducting Registration
                Registration involves the collection of information needed to address the certification
process in a repeatable, understandable, and effective manner. These tasks involve gathering
information to determine the security requirements and the level of effort necessary to
accomplish C&A. The level of effort is influenced by the degree of assurance needed in the areas
of confidentiality, integrity, accountability, and availability. Certifiers must consider the mission,
environments, system life-cycle, existing documentation, risk, architecture, users, data
classifications, external interfaces, etc.

        3. Performing Negotiation

                Negotiation is involved in every facet of the C&A process. Given the potentially large
numbers of people and functional organizations involved, Certifiers must draw upon many sub-
disciplines and roles to accomplish this mission. To this end, Certifiers must possess broad,
well-developed negotiation skills. Negotiation skills are especially important for determining
methodologies, defining the scope of the certification process, and acquiring the resources
necessary to support the mission. Effective written and oral communication skills, flexibility,
creativity, political acumen, and objectivity all contribute to effective negotiation activities.
        4. Preparing the System Security Authorization Agreement (SSAA)

              Certifiers are part of a team composed of the Certification Authority, the program
sponsor, a threat specialist, and others. This team prepares the SSAA, a document that
describes the planned operating condition of the system being certified and the expected
residual risk in operating the system. The Designated Approving Authority (DAA) approves the
SSAA and the system is then implemented with the security requirements that have been
determined for it. It is important to note that the SSAA is a living document, and as such will
require periodic maintenance throughout the life-cycle management of the system.

        5. Supporting Systems Development

              During the systems development phase of a system certification, the Certifiers are
responsible for evaluating the design of the system and ensuring that the security requirements  
are being properly addressed and satisfied. The specific activities are a function of the overall
program strategy, the life-cycle management process, and the position of the information system
in the life-cycle. As in the Certification Analysis phase, the system development activities ensure
that the requirements of the SSAA are followed during each life-cycle phase of the development
and modification of the information system.
        6. Performing Certification Analysis

              Certification Analysis is the process of interacting with the system developer or
owner/operator, and reviewing the documentation to carefully assess the functionality of the
developing system, ensuring that it meets the security requirements as defined for its users,
environment, connectivity, and other technical and non-technical factors in the SSAA.

        7. Certification Evaluation
              Security certification evaluation is the process whereby the Certifiers verify and
validate through formal security testing and evaluation (ST&E), that the implementation of the
information system (IS) complies with the technical and non-technical security requirements
stated in the SSAA, and that any observed deficiencies are fully documented and presented to
the DAA for consideration in the accreditation decision.
        8. Developing Recommendation to the DAA

              The Certifiers prepare appropriate documentation regarding all findings resulting
from the ST&E, and recommends to the DAA the degree to which the evaluated system satisfies
all the defined security requirements. In addition, this documentation offers the Certifier's
opinion concerning any identified residual risk that may preclude accreditation of the system for

        9. Compliance Validation

              The Certifier's focus during this phase is the audit of the accredited IS, which is
operating under the approval of the DAA, who has accepted any identified residual risk.
Therefore, the Certifiers audit operations to ensure they remain consistent with the DAA-
accepted level of risk.

        10. Maintenance of the SSAA                                                 
              The Maintenance of the SSAA function involves determining whether or not any IS
implementation changes that dictate a need to recertify the implementation of the IS will require
an update of the SSAA. If changes occur that dictate a need for a recertification effort, then the
Certifier functions as defined in the C&A process are again performed for these changes, or for

the entire IS as necessary. Additionally, Certifiers must ensure that the recertification effort is
reported to the DAA for continued approval to operate.

Terminal Objective:

        Given an information system, the System Certifiers will explain and apply a
recognized methodology leading to the security certification of that system in accordance
with a prescribed set of criteria (i.e., the International Common Criteria), and provide an
accreditation recommendation to the DAA for consideration in the accreditation decision.
To be acceptable, the certification must be performed in accordance with applicable 
INFOSEC regulations, policies and guidelines.

List of Performance Items Under Competencies

        In each of the competency areas listed below, the System Certifiers shall perform the
following functions: