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FISMA Certification and Accreditation Handbook [Paperback]

Laura P. Taylor , L. Taylor

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Book Description

Nov. 28 2006 1597491160 978-1597491167 1
The only book that instructs IT Managers to adhere to federally mandated certification and accreditation requirements.

This book will explain what is meant by Certification and Accreditation and why the process is mandated by federal law. The different Certification and Accreditation laws will be cited and discussed including the three leading types of C&A: NIST, NIAP, and DITSCAP. Next, the book explains how to prepare for, perform, and document a C&A project. The next section to the book illustrates addressing security awareness, end-user rules of behavior, and incident response requirements. Once this phase of the C&A project is complete, the reader will learn to perform the security tests and evaluations, business impact assessments system risk assessments, business risk assessments, contingency plans, business impact assessments, and system security plans. Finally the reader will learn to audit their entire C&A project and correct any failures.

* Focuses on federally mandated certification and accreditation requirements
* Author Laura Taylor's research on Certification and Accreditation has been used by the FDIC, the FBI, and the Whitehouse
* Full of vital information on compliance for both corporate and government IT Managers

Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Laura Taylor leads the technical development of FedRAMP, the U.S. government's initiative to apply the Federal Information Security Management Act to cloud computing. In 2006, Taylor's FISMA Certification and Accreditation Handbook was the first book published on FISMA. Taylor has contributed to four other books on information security and has authored hundreds of articles and white papers on infosec topics for a variety of web publications and magazines. Specializing in assisting federal agencies and private industry comply with computer security laws, Taylor is a thought leader on cyber security compliance. Taylor has led large technology migrations, developed enterprise wide information security programs, and has performed risk assessments and security audits for numerous financial institutions.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horrible law, good book March 9 2007
By Richard Bejtlich - Published on
I am no fan of the FISMA law. I've posted several stories on my blog explaining why I think FISMA is a waste of taxpayer money. Laura Taylor's FISMA Certification and Accreditation Handbook, however, is a good book if you are unfortunate enough to be tasked with performing FISMA work.

The core of this book is understanding the C&A process. C&A is essentially a giant preparatory paperwork exercise conducted before "game day." When the game is being played (i.e., when .gov systems are being compromised) FISMA demonstrates its irrelevance. Still, it would be nearly impossible to understand FISMA and C&A by looking at agency documentation and applicable laws. The Handbook lays out FISMA and C&A in an easy-to-understand manner, probably sharply reducing the slope of the learning curve for the FISMA and C&A newbie.

One of my favorite aspects of the Handbook is the use of templates. If you need to build a C&A program from (nearly) scratch, or if you want to apply best practices to an existing program, the Handbook's templates and suggested language will be invaluable. The Handbook also includes many tables of examples and checklists that could be dropped right into relevant documents.

I considered giving the Handbook five stars, even though I detest FISMA and C&A. Given the technical errors and oddities I found, I could only offer four stars. The Handbook claims to have been reviewed by a technical editor, but several comments made me question the level of attention paid to technical details. Ch 12 (Performing the Security Tests and Evaluation) features the comment "Many network scanners also scan for open ports" (p 200). I should hope so; otherwise, they might not know what to examine. One of the suggested port scanners is Strobe, which was popular in 1997 (no lie). I really liked this comment on p 207, which I assume is meant to reassure those tasked with C&A: "Don't get bogged down trying to figure out how a port listener differs from a port scanner." If a so-called "security consultant" doing C&A doesn't know the difference, they need to hang it up immediately. The "Suspicious Events That Are Worth Auditing" chart on p 348 really made me laugh. Item "SE 6" says "Invalid IP addresses that are not in the range of acceptable octets, for example:" Are they SERIOUS?

In brief, if you are stuck doing C&A for FISMA, take a look at the Handbook. If you are tasked with doing anything remotely technical regarding FISMA, you won't find help in this book.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference March 31 2008
By J. Fowler - Published on
I bought this book because I needed to know how to get through the C&A process from start to finish. I'd read some of the NIST publications, and although they are great publication, they really don't tell you where to start, and what to do next. The NIST pubs also don't have very many practical examples in them. Some of the things I like best about this book are the checklists, the templates, and the fact that it is written so that it is easily understandable. It is not written using geek-o-snob rhetoric that make many computer books difficult to understand.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent FISMA Book Feb. 8 2009
By E. Yakabovicz - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This has to be the hands-down, best FIMSA C&A book that I have seen on the market. It not only covers the NIST standards, but others such as DCID. It provides the reasons why, the how top's, and excellent checklists to determine if you are on track, or lost in the details of C&A. Many people are lost when it comes to C&A, but this book will provide the necessary bread crumbs to bring C&A home ! I recommend this book for experts as well as novices, only because it provides the very basic's that we sometimes forget.

If you are interested in INFOSEC/Information Assurance and attempting to understand the voodoo of C&A, this book is a good resource to start your journey !
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good FISMA Reference March 21 2007
By Dan McKinnon - Published on
'Fisma Certification & Accreditation Handbook' isn't the type of book that you would pick up for weekend reading but it covers the material that it says it does. Dry and dull it may be, but if you work with this subject matter this is a good reference.

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FISMA Prep Nov. 22 2009
By walt frazier - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought it was a great introduction to this field that is full of acronyms

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