Gartner Research

Best Practices to Support the U.S. Federal Government Transition to the Risk Management Framework

Published: 22 January 2016

ID: G00296000

Analyst(s): Paul Proctor , Katell Thielemann


By law, federal agencies need to start adopting the NIST-developed RMF to improve their cybersecurity posture. Federal IT security leaders/CISOs can leverage lessons learned from other industries and the recent FITARA legislation to accelerate adoption.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Shifts to NIST-Developed RMF (SP 800-37) Are Underway From FISMA Compliance Checklists (in Civilian Agencies), the DoD Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP; in the DoD) and the Director of Central Intelligence Directive (DCID) 6/3 (in the Intelligence Community)
    • Civilian Agencies Shift to RMF
    • DoD Shifts From DIACAP to RMF
    • Intelligence Community Shifts From DCID 6/3 to RMF
  • Develop Interconnected Transition Roadmaps From the Organizational Level Down to the Information-System Level, and Prioritize the Initial Focus on Common Risk Areas
    • Roadmap Development
    • Common Risk Areas
  • Recognize That Culture Change Will Be Your Most Formidable Roadblock, and Develop Clear Burning Platform Messaging and Change Management Strategies as a Result
  • Leverage the Newly Expanded Authority of Agency CIOs Under FITARA to Accelerate the Shift, and Ensure That Systems Under Vendor Control Are Integrated Into Your Strategies and Roadmaps
  • Cautionary Tales From Other Jurisdictions


  • Historical Context
    • NIST's Role in FISMA

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