CP-13: Alternative Security Mechanisms

Control Family:

Contingency Planning

CSF v1.1 References:

PF v1.0 References:

Threats Addressed:


  • Low


  • Moderate


  • High


Next Version:

Control Statement

The organization employs [Assignment: organization-defined alternative or supplemental security mechanisms] for satisfying [Assignment: organization-defined security functions] when the primary means of implementing the security function is unavailable or compromised.

Supplemental Guidance

This control supports information system resiliency and contingency planning/continuity of operations. To ensure mission/business continuity, organizations can implement alternative or supplemental security mechanisms. These mechanisms may be less effective than the primary mechanisms (e.g., not as easy to use, not as scalable, or not as secure). However, having the capability to readily employ these alternative/supplemental mechanisms enhances overall mission/business continuity that might otherwise be adversely impacted if organizational operations had to be curtailed until the primary means of implementing the functions was restored. Given the cost and level of effort required to provide such alternative capabilities, this control would typically be applied only to critical security capabilities provided by information systems, system components, or information system services. For example, an organization may issue to senior executives and system administrators one-time pads in case multifactor tokens, the organization's standard means for secure remote authentication, is compromised.