Are you prepared to continue to progress on your Cyber security Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) journey? The sixth domain in the CMMC Level 1 requirements is System and Information Integrity. The primary focus of this practice is Identify malicious content. In this post, we will build on our knowledge of the domains and practices of Level 1, with a focus on the fourth practice in System and Information Integrity, SI.1.213. 

 What is a CMMC Assessment? 

 A CMMC assessment is the methodology to certify that a contractor is compliant with the CMMC standard. CMMC Third Party  Assessment Organizations (C3PAOs) carry out this methodology and evaluate your company’s unclassified networks. The CMMC evaluation process gives contractors guidance for a specific CMMC level (1-5); if you pass this process, the C3PAO  issues the appropriate CMMC certificate. Passing a level 1 assessment, for example, confirms that you’re meeting the basic safeguarding requirements for Federal Contract Information (FCI). FCI is information not marked as public or for public release (specified in FAR Clause 52.204-21). 

What is System and Information Integrity – SI.1.213? 

Perform periodic scans of information systems and real-time scans of files from external sources as files are downloaded, opened, or executed. Periodic scans of organizational systems and real-time scans of files from external sources can detect malicious code. Malicious code can be encoded in various formats (e.g., UUENCODE, Unicode), contained within compressed or hidden files, or hidden in files using techniques such as steganography. Malicious code can be inserted into systems in a variety of ways including web accesses, electronic mail, electronic mail attachments, and portable storage devices. Malicious code insertions occur through the exploitation of system vulnerabilities. Malicious code protection mechanisms include anti-virus signature definitions and reputation-based technologies. Many technologies and methods exist to limit or eliminate the effects of malicious code. Pervasive configuration management and comprehensive software integrity controls may be effective in preventing execution of unauthorized code. In addition to commercial off-the-shelf software, malicious code may also be present in custom-built software. This could include logic bombs, back doors, and other types of cyber-attacks that could affect organizational missions/business functions. Traditional malicious code protection mechanisms cannot always detect such code. In these situations, organizations rely instead on other safeguards including secure coding practices, configuration management and control, trusted procurement processes, and monitoring practices to help ensure that software does not perform functions other than the functions intended. 

What are the SI.1.213 Assessment Objectives and Objects? 

Assessment procedures consist of an objective and a set of objects. The assessment objective includes a determination  statement related to the CMMC practice content to ensure traceability of assessment results to requirements. These results determine if a practice is satisfied. Assessmentobjects specify the specific items that a C3PAO assesses (e.g., mechanisms, activities, and individuals). 

SI.1.213assessment objectives: The frequency for malicious code scans is defined​. Malicious code scans are performed with the defined frequency​. Real-time malicious code scans of files from external sources as files are downloaded, opened, or executed are performed. 

SI.1.213 assessment objects:A C3PAO can assess document-based artifacts associated with your system, hardware, software, or firmware safeguards, protection-related actions supporting your system that involves people, and any other personnel related to these elements. 

What are the Assessment Methods forSI.1.213? 

Assessment methods define the nature and extent of assessors’ actions (e.g., examining,    interviewing, and testing). They are outlined below for SI.1.213  

Examine: This method refers to reviewing, inspecting, observing, studying, or analyzing assessment objects. In regards  to SI.1.213 a C3PAO may examineSystem security plan. System configuration settings and associated documentation. Record of actions initiated by malicious code protection mechanisms in response to malicious code detection. Scan results from malicious code protection mechanisms. System design documentation. 

Interview: This method refers to the process of holding discussions with individuals or   groups to facilitate understanding,  achieve clarification, or obtain evidence. A C3PAO may System or network administrators​. Personnel with information security responsibilities. Personnel Installing, configuring, and maintaining the system. Personnel with responsibility for malicious code protection. 

Inspect: This method is the process of exercising assessment objects under specified conditions to compare actual behavior  with expected behavior. All assessment objects that a C3PAO can examine for SI.1.213. Organizational processes for employing, updating, and configuring malicious code protection mechanisms. Organizational process for addressing false positives and resulting potential impact. 

How Do I know if I’m Complying to the SI.1.213 Practice? 

System and Information Integrity is a domain that builds upon the concepts of Access Control, and establishes some more  specifics that require attention. You may already have made progress and set measures in place to ensure that you are working towards complying with this practice and its requirements, but you might be wary of what C3PAO’s might assess and how you would stand in an assessment. If this is the case, taking a free CMMC self-assessment can help you gauge where you are in the CMMC compliance process for this domain. Taking this next step can help you better you’re standing towards compliance, and take you one step closer in achieving CMMC Level 1 certification.