Security Content Automation Protocol backgrounder

What it does: The Security Content Automation Protocol provides a standardized way of managing security. Uses include verifying installation of software patches and checking a machine’s security configuration settings.

Benefits: Automated tools that use SCAP specifications make it easier to continuously verify the security compliance status of desktop PC configurations. Agencies often use the tools with the Federal Desktop Core Configuration.

Limitations: SCAP doesn’t address the full scope of compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act, particularly operational controls.

Supported platforms: Although FDCC is geared toward Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, SCAP has enabled standardization across a number of platforms, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sun Microsystems’ Solaris, HP-UX and IBM AIX. More details on platform support are available at web.nvd.nist.gov/view/ncp/repository.

Validated tools: Twenty-one vendors offer SCAP products that the National Institute of Standards and Technology has validated. The list is available at nvd.nist.gov/scapproducts.cfm.

Additional reading:

NIST’s SCAP Web site: scap.nist.gov/index.html

NIST’s draft guide to adopting and using SCAP: csrc.nist.gov/publications/drafts/800-117/draft-sp800-117.pdf

About the Author

John Moore is a freelance writer based in Syracuse, N.Y.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by wk1003mike): cloud system fracture.

    Does the IRS have a cloud strategy?

    Congress and watchdog agencies have dinged the IRS for lacking an enterprise cloud strategy seven years after it became the official policy of the U.S. government.

  • Shutterstock image: illuminated connections between devices.

    Who won what in EIS

    The General Services Administration posted detailed data on how the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract might be divvied up.

  • Wikimedia Image: U.S. Cyber Command logo.

    Trump elevates CyberCom to combatant command status

    The White House announced a long-planned move to elevate Cyber Command to the status of a full combatant command.

  • Photo credit: John Roman Images / Shutterstock.com

    Verizon plans FirstNet rival

    Verizon says it will carve a dedicated network out of its extensive national 4G LTE network for first responders, in competition with FirstNet.

  • AI concept art

    Can AI tools replace feds?

    The Heritage Foundation is recommending that hundreds of thousands of federal jobs be replaced by automation as part of a larger government reorganization strategy.

  • DOD Common Access Cards

    DOD pushes toward CAC replacement

    Defense officials hope the Common Access Card's days are numbered as they continue to test new identity management solutions.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group