CP-4: Contingency Plan Testing

Control Family:

Contingency Planning

CSF v1.1 References:

PF v1.0 References:


Next Version:

Control Statement

The organization:

  1. Tests the contingency plan for the information system [Assignment: organization-defined frequency] using [Assignment: organization-defined tests] to determine the effectiveness of the plan and the organizational readiness to execute the plan;
  2. Reviews the contingency plan test results; and
  3. Initiates corrective actions, if needed.

Supplemental Guidance

Methods for testing contingency plans to determine the effectiveness of the plans and to identify potential weaknesses in the plans include, for example, walk-through and tabletop exercises, checklists, simulations (parallel, full interrupt), and comprehensive exercises. Organizations conduct testing based on the continuity requirements in contingency plans and include a determination of the effects on organizational operations, assets, and individuals arising due to contingency operations. Organizations have flexibility and discretion in the breadth, depth, and timelines of corrective actions.

Control Enhancements

CP-4(2): Alternate Processing Site


  • High

The organization tests the contingency plan at the alternate processing site: To familiarize contingency personnel with the facility and available resources; and To evaluate the capabilities of the alternate processing site to support contingency operations.

CP-4(3): Automated Testing


(Not part of any baseline)

The organization employs automated mechanisms to more thoroughly and effectively test the contingency plan.

CP-4(4): Full Recovery / Reconstitution


(Not part of any baseline)

The organization includes a full recovery and reconstitution of the information system to a known state as part of contingency plan testing.