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SP 800-160 Vol. 1 Rev. 1 (Draft)

Engineering Trustworthy Secure Systems

Date Published: June 7, 2022
Comments Due: July 8, 2022 (public comment period is CLOSED)
Email Questions to: security-engineering@nist.gov


Ron Ross (NIST), Mark Winstead (MITRE), Michael McEvilley (MITRE)


This final public draft offers significant content and design changes that include a renewed emphasis on the importance of systems engineering and viewing systems security engineering as a critical subdiscipline necessary to achieving trustworthy secure systems. This perspective treats security as an emergent property of a system. It requires a disciplined, rigorous engineering process to deliver the security capabilities necessary to protect stakeholders’ assets from loss while achieving mission and business success.

Bringing security out of its traditional stovepipe and viewing it as an emergent system property helps to ensure that only authorized system behaviors and outcomes occur, much like the engineering processes that address safety, reliability, availability, and maintainability in building spacecraft, airplanes, and bridges. Treating security as a subdiscipline of systems engineering also facilitates making comprehensive trade space decisions as stakeholders continually address cost, schedule, and performance issues, as well as the uncertainties associated with system development efforts.

In particular, this final public draft:

  • Provides a renewed focus on the design principles and concepts for engineering trustworthy secure systems, distributing the content across several redesigned initial chapters
  • Relocates the detailed system life cycle processes and security considerations to separate appendices for ease of use
  • Streamlines the design principles for trustworthy secure systems by eliminating two previous design principle categories
  • Includes a new introduction to the system life cycle processes and describes key relationships among those processes
  • Clarifies key systems engineering and systems security engineering terminology
  • Simplifies the structure of the system life cycle processes, activities, tasks, and references
  • Provides additional references to international standards and technical guidance to better support the security aspects of the systems engineering process

NIST is interested in your feedback on the specific changes made to the publication during this update, including the organization and structure of the publication, the presentation of the material, its ease of use, and the applicability of the technical content to current or planned systems engineering initiatives.

We encourage you to submit comments using the comment template provided.

NOTE: A call for patent claims is included on page v of this draft.  For additional information, see the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Patent Policy--Inclusion of Patents in ITL Publications.



assurance; developmental engineering; engineering trades; field engineering; implementation; information security; information security policy; inspection; integration; penetration testing; protection needs; requirements analysis; resilience; review; risk assessment; risk management; risk treatment; security architecture; security design; security requirements; specifications; stakeholders; system of systems; system component; system element; system life cycle; systems; systems engineering; systems security engineering; trustworthiness; validation; verification
Control Families

None selected


SP 800-160 Vol. 1 Rev. 1 (Draft) (DOI)
Local Download

Supplemental Material:
Comment template (xls)
Systems Security Engineering (SSE) Project (web)

Document History:
01/11/22: SP 800-160 Vol. 1 Rev. 1 (Draft)
06/07/22: SP 800-160 Vol. 1 Rev. 1 (Draft)
11/16/22: SP 800-160 Vol. 1 Rev. 1 (Final)


Security and Privacy
planning; risk assessment; trustworthiness

Laws and Regulations
E-Government Act