Certified Authorization Professional (CAP)

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Course Description:

The Certified Authorization Professional is an ISC2 certification that is focused around the NIST Risk Management Framework. This standard is based upon an understanding of NIST SP 800-37 and several supporting documents. Candidates who attempt this exam must possess at least 2 years of security related experience in any of the 5 CAP domains. In addition the candidate must take a 3 hour 125 question exam and receive a successful score to become certified.

Course Content:

1. Understand the Security Authorization of Information Systems

• Security authorization includes a tiered risk management approach to evaluate both strategic and tactical risk across the enterprise. The authorization process incorporates the application of a Risk Management Framework (RMF), a review of the organizational structure, and the business process/mission as the foundation for the implementation and assessment of specified security controls. This authorization management process identifies vulnerabilities and security controls and determines residual risks. The residual risks are evaluated and deemed either acceptable or unacceptable. More controls must be implemented to reduce unacceptable risk. The system may be deployed only when the residual risks are acceptable to the enterprise and a satisfactory security plan is complete.

2. Categorize Information Systems

• Categorization of the information system is based on an impact analysis. It is performed to determine the types of information included within the security authorization boundary, the security requirements for the information types, and the potential impact on the organization resulting from a security compromise. The result of the categorization is used as the basis for developing the security plan, selecting security controls, and determining the risk inherent in operating the system.

3. Establish the Security Control Baseline

• The security control baseline is established by determining specific controls required to protect the system based on the security categorization of the system. The baseline is tailored and supplemented in accordance with an organizational assessment of risk and local parameters. The security control baseline, as well as the plan for monitoring it, is documented in the security plan.

4. Apply Security Controls

• The security controls specified in the security plan are implemented by taking into account the minimum organizational assurance requirements. The security plan describes how the controls are employed within the information system and its operational environment. The security assessment plan documents the methods for testing these controls and the expected results throughout the systems life-cycle.

5. Assess Security Controls

• The security control assessment follows the approved plan, including defined procedures, to determine the effectiveness of the controls in meeting security requirements of the information system. The results are documented in the Security Assessment Report.

6. Authorize Information System

• The residual risks identified during the security control assessment are evaluated and the decision is made to authorize the system to operate, deny its operation, or remediate the deficiencies. Associated documentation is prepared and/or updated depending on the authorization decision.

7. Monitor Security Controls

• After an Authorization to Operate (ATO) is granted, ongoing continuous monitoring is performed on all identified security controls as well as the political, legal, and physical environment in which the system operates. Changes to the system or its operational environment are documented and analyzed. The security state of the system is reported to designated responsible officials. Significant changes will cause the system to reenter the security authorization process. Otherwise, the system will continue to be monitored on an ongoing basis in accordance with the organization’s monitoring strategy.