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Control Acronym



Security Assessment

CMMC Level


800-171 Control #


CMMC Description

Monitor security controls on an ongoing basis to ensure the continued effectiveness of the controls.

CMMC Clarification

You should provide a plan for monitoring and assessing the state of security controls on a recurring basis that occurs more frequently than the periodic assessments discussed in CA.2.158. This process provides a mechanism to assess the overall security posture of your organization. As a result the process not only maintains awareness of vulnerabilities and threats, but also informs management of the effectiveness of the security controls in determining if security controls are current and for management to make an acceptable risk decision. Example As the lead for cybersecurity at your organization your boss has asked you to ensure that any requirements for cybersecurity are met. Since the organization supports Department of Defense (DoD) contracts you are aware that contractors must meet specific compliance requirements. You review those requirements and the associated preventative, detective, or responsive security controls you’ve implemented to identify any gaps. With your list of compliance requirements and actual security controls in place you create a plan of action to evaluate each control regularly over the next year. You mark several controls to be evaluated by a third party security assessor. After reviewing the list with several colleagues in IT you assign them responsibility to evaluate controls within their area of responsibility. The remaining controls are assigned to members of the IT cybersecurity team. To ensure progress you establish recurring meetings with the accountable IT staff to assess continuous monitoring progress, review security information, evaluate risks from gaps in continuous monitoring, and produce reports for your executives.

800-171 Description

Monitor security controls on an ongoing basis to ensure the continued effectiveness of the controls.

800-171 Discussion

Continuous monitoring programs facilitate ongoing awareness of threats, vulnerabilities, and information security to support organizational risk management decisions. The terms continuous and ongoing imply that organizations assess and analyze security controls and information security-related risks at a frequency sufficient to support risk-based decisions. The results of continuous monitoring programs generate appropriate risk response actions by organizations. Providing access to security information on a continuing basis through reports or dashboards gives organizational officials the capability to make effective and timely risk management decisions. Automation supports more frequent updates to hardware, software, firmware inventories, and other system information. Effectiveness is further enhanced when continuous monitoring outputs are formatted to provide information that is specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely. Monitoring requirements, including the need for specific monitoring, may also be referenced in other requirements. [SP 800-137] provides guidance on continuous monitoring.

Other Source Discussion


CIS Control References

NIST 800-53 Control Ref.

NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4 CA-7

CMMC Derived

NIST CSF Control References

NIST 800-171 References

NIST SP 800-171 Rev 1 3.12.3

Applicable FAR Clause

NIST CSF Control Reference

NIST CSF v1.1 PR.IP-7, DE.DP-5

CERT RMM Reference


Modification of NIST 800-171B Reference

NIST 800-171B Reference

UK NCSCCyber Reference

AS ACSC Reference


Assessment Sub-Criteria 1

CA.3.161.[a] security controls are monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure the continued effectiveness of those controls.

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