Computer Security Resource Center

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Computer Security
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NIST Released Special Publication 800-160, Systems Security Engineering: Considerations for a Multidisciplinary Approach in the Engineering of Trustworthy Secure Systems
May 04, 2016

NIST announces the release of second draft Special Publication 800-160Systems Security Engineering: Considerations for a Multidisciplinary Approach in the Engineering of Trustworthy Secure Systems.

NIST Public Affairs Office published a press release of this draft (SP 800-160).

The United States has developed incredibly powerful and complex systems—systems that are inexorably linked to the economic and national security interests of the Nation. The complete dependence on those systems for mission and business success in both the public and private sectors, including the critical infrastructure, has left the Nation extremely vulnerable to hostile cyber-attacks and other serious threats. With the continuing frequency, intensity, and adverse consequences of cyber-attacks, disruptions, hazards, and threats to federal, state, and local governments, the military, businesses, industry, and the critical infrastructure, the need for trustworthy secure systems has never been more important. 

Engineering-based approaches to solutions are essential to managing the growing complexity, dynamicity, and interconnectedness of today’s systems—as exemplified by cyber-physical systems and systems-of-systems, including the Internet of Things. Managing the complexity of today’s systems and being able to claim that those systems are trustworthy and secure means that first and foremost, there must be a level of confidence in the feasibility and correctness-in-concept, philosophy, and design, regarding the ability of a system to function securely as intended. Failure to address the complexity issue in this manner will continue to leave the Nation susceptible to the consequences of an increasingly pervasive set of disruptions, hazards, and threats with potential for causing serious, severe, or even catastrophic consequences. 

NIST Special Publication 800-160 attempts to bring greater clarity to the difficult and challenging problems associated with a systems-oriented viewpoint on realizing trustworthy secure systems—and does so through the considerations set forth in a set of standards-based systems engineering processes applied throughout the life cycle. The public comment period for this publication is May 4 through July 1, 2016. Comments can be sent to: sec-cert@nist.gov.

Created December 21, 2016, Updated May 15, 2017