Ensure equipment removed for off-site maintenance is sanitized of any CUI.
DiscussionThis requirement addresses the information security aspects of system maintenance that are performed off-site and applies to all types of maintenance to any system component (including applications) conducted by a local or nonlocal entity (e.g., in-contract, warranty, in-house, software maintenance agreement). NIST SP 800-88 provides guidance on media sanitization.
Further DiscussionSanitization is a process that makes access to data infeasible on media such as a hard drive. The process may overwrite the entire media with a fixed pattern such as binary zeros. In addition to clearing the data an organization could purge (e.g., degaussing, secure erasing, or disassembling) the data, or even destroy the media (e.g., incinerating, shredding, or pulverizing). Performing one of these activities ensures that the data is extremely hard to recover, thus ensuring its confidentiality. For additional guidance on which specific sanitization actions should be taken on any specific type of media, review the description of the Purge actions given in NIST SP 800-88 Revision 1 - Guidelines for Media Sanitization.
ExampleYou manage your organization’s IT equipment. A recent DoD project has been using a storage array to house CUI. Recently, the array has experienced disk issues. After troubleshooting with the vendor, they recommend several drives be replaced in the array. Knowing the drives may contain CUI, you reference NIST 800-88 Rev. 1 and determine a strategy you can implement on the defective equipment – processing the drives with a degaussing unit [a]. Once all the drives have been wiped, you document the action and ship the faulty drives to the vendor.
Potential Assessment Considerations
- Is there a process for sanitizing (e.g., erasing, wiping, degaussing) equipment that was used to store, process, or transmit CUI before it is removed from the facility for off-site maintenance (e.g., manufacturer or contracted maintenance support) [a]?