SA-17(9): Design Diversity

CSF v1.1 References:


(Not part of any baseline)

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Control is new to this version of the control set.

Control Statement

Use different designs for [Assignment: organization-defined critical systems or system components] to satisfy a common set of requirements or to provide equivalent functionality.

Supplemental Guidance

Design diversity is achieved by supplying the same requirements specification to multiple developers, each of whom is responsible for developing a variant of the system or system component that meets the requirements. Variants can be in software design, in hardware design, or in both hardware and a software design. Differences in the designs of the variants can result from developer experience (e.g., prior use of a design pattern), design style (e.g., when decomposing a required function into smaller tasks, determining what constitutes a separate task and how far to decompose tasks into sub-tasks), selection of libraries to incorporate into the variant, and the development environment (e.g., different design tools make some design patterns easier to visualize). Hardware design diversity includes making different decisions about what information to keep in analog form and what information to convert to digital form, transmitting the same information at different times, and introducing delays in sampling (temporal diversity). Design diversity is commonly used to support fault tolerance.