Doc:NIST SP 800-53r3 Appendix F/IA-5

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IA-5 AUTHENTICATOR MANAGEMENT

Control: The organization manages information system authenticators for users and devices by:
a. Verifying, as part of the initial authenticator distribution, the identity of the individual and/or device receiving the authenticator;
b. Establishing initial authenticator content for authenticators defined by the organization;
c. Ensuring that authenticators have sufficient strength of mechanism for their intended use;
d. Establishing and implementing administrative procedures for initial authenticator distribution, for lost/compromised or damaged authenticators, and for revoking authenticators;
e. Changing default content of authenticators upon information system installation;
f. Establishing minimum and maximum lifetime restrictions and reuse conditions for authenticators (if appropriate);
g. Changing/refreshing authenticators [Assignment: organization-defined time period by authenticator type];
h. Protecting authenticator content from unauthorized disclosure and modification; and
i. Requiring users to take, and having devices implement, specific measures to safeguard authenticators.
Supplemental Guidance: User authenticators include, for example, passwords, tokens, biometrics, PKI certificates, and key cards. Initial authenticator content is the actual content (e.g., the initial password) as opposed to requirements about authenticator content (e.g., minimum password length). Many information system components are shipped with factory default authentication credentials to allow for initial installation and configuration. Default authentication credentials are often well known, easily discoverable, present a significant security risk, and therefore, are changed upon installation. The requirement to protect user authenticators may be implemented via control PL-4 or PS-6 for authenticators in the possession of users and by controls AC-3, AC-6, and SC-28 for authenticators stored within the information system (e.g., passwords stored in a hashed or encrypted format, files containing encrypted or hashed passwords accessible only with super user privileges). The information system supports user authenticator management by organization-defined settings and restrictions for various authenticator characteristics including, for example, minimum password length, password composition, validation time window for time synchronous one time tokens, and number of allowed rejections during verification stage of biometric authentication. Measures to safeguard user authenticators include, for example, maintaining possession of individual authenticators, not loaning or sharing authenticators with others, and reporting lost or compromised authenticators immediately. Authenticator management includes issuing and revoking, when no longer needed, authenticators for temporary access such as that required for remote maintenance. Device authenticators include, for example, certificates and passwords. Related controls: AC-2, IA-2, PL-4, PS-6.
Control Enhancements: