The OpenFISMA project is an open source application designed to reduce the complexity and automate the regulatory requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Risk Management Framework (RMF).
OpenFISMA is built on a modern, standardized platform called Zend Framework, which is an open source, object-oriented web application framework with a flexible architecture.
The OpenFISMA project is unique in several ways.
- Open source – OpenFISMA is the largest open source project for the U.S. federal government. See the open source section for an explanation of the advantages of open source.
- Highly customizable – OpenFISMA is highly customizable through our web-based administration interface. The branding can be changed. The workflow can be changed. The roles and privileges can be changed. New reports can be added to the system without writing a single line of code.
- Easy to deploy – OpenFISMA comes with built-in security controls that allow you to easily C&A your OpenFISMA implementation with ease. OpenFISMA also provides configurable security policies so that your implementation will fall in-line with your agency’s specific security policies as well.
- Track security weaknesses to closure
OpenFISMA provides a proven business process for tracking the remediation of security weaknesses. This business process enforces quality controls and segregation of duty, pulling together individuals from different areas of the organization to plan, execute, and review all remediation actions.
- Role-based access control
Access control is based on roles; each role has fine-grained access to certain privileges on each information system that is being tracked. The roles are completely customizable.
- Active Directory/OpenLDAP Authentication
Authentication in OpenFISMA can be handled by any LDAP-compatible service, such as Microsoft Active Directory (AD) or OpenLDAP, in order to provide single sign-on convenience for your agency’s users.
- Scan Injection
If you run automated scans as part of your C&A process or as part of a continuous monitoring program, you can upload your scan results in XML format directly into OpenFISMA. OpenFISMA uses the information in scans to create new findings, assess risk exposure, and even update your asset inventory.
The scan injection provides some smarts, too. OpenFISMA matches new scan results against past scan results. Based on a simple set of rules, it decides whether to supress duplicate findings or to flag multiple, similar findings for human review. This reduces the overhead of redundant findings and can also help your organization identify systemic weaknesses that could be addressed more efficiently at the enterprise level.
- E-mail Notifications
OpenFISMA sends notifications directly to users’ inboxes when action is needed from them. This automated notification system relieves security managers of the burden of manually monitoring the workflow. The notification system also reduces turn-around time by alerting users quickly when their action is needed.
- Rich Text Editing
Data about findings is entered using a rich text editor that allows for formatting (bold, italics, underline, and outline formats) as well as spell checking.
Reporting is one of the most critical requirements for any process management tool. OpenFISMA provides the ability to “plug in” a report without writing any code. These reports are created by writing SQL and updating a configuration file. OpenFISMA then creates the interface and data export features on-the-fly. The plug-in architecture drastically reduces the cost and time involved in creating custom reports.
- NIST SP 800-53 Rev. 2
OpenFISMA also contains a catalog of all NIST SP 800-53 Rev. 2 controls built-in. Findings in OpenFISMA can be matched against these security controls to provide supplemental information for remediation and planning. The catalog includes descriptions of the controls, scoping, and supplemental guidance.
You can download OpenFISMA here:
OpenFISMA (registration required)
Or read more here.
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