The risk management framework steps are detailed in NIST SP 800-37, Guide for Applying the Risk Management Framework to Federal Information Systems.

The DoD has recently adopted the Risk Management Framework steps (called the DIARMF process).  There are 6 step: Categorize, Select, Implement, Assess, Authorize and Continuous Monitor.

risk management framework steps
risk management framework steps

risk management framework – Step 1. Categorize

The first risk management framework step is categorization.  This step consists of classifying the importance of the information system.   This is done by the system owner with FIPS 199 and NIST 800-60.

Categorization is based on how much negative impact the organization will receive if the information system lost is confidentiality, integrity or availability.


risk management framework – Step 2. Select

With FIPS 200 and NIST SP 800-53, the organization responsible for the systems security will select the security controls required to limit the risk to their organization.  The selection of the controls is based on the categorization of your system.  A system security plan is created as a guide to what will be installed and/or configured on the system.

More on DIARMF – Select

risk management framework – Step 3. Implement

Using the System Security Plan, the organization responsible for the categorized system can begin risk management framework step 3.  This step is implementation which is installation and configuration of security patches, hotfixes and security devices where necessary.   Guidance for actual implantation has to come from technical manuals, system administrators, system engineers and others technically competent enough to do the work.

More on DIARMF – Implement

risk management framework – Step 4. Assess

The organization has to make sure that the security controls are implemented properly.  This is done in risk management step 4, assess.  Using NIST SP 800-53A, Guide for Assessing the Security Controls in Federal Information Systems and Organizations  is used to determine which controls have been fully implemented to limit the risks to the organization.

More on DIARMF – Assess

risk management framework – Step 5. Authorize

Even after implementation and assessment of the security controls that limits the over all risk to the organization, there is some remaining (residual) risk.  The organization must have someone who has enough authority of over the system to accept the residual risk.  This person is known as the Authorizing Official.

In risk management framework step 5, an Authorizing Official makes a formal, written acceptance of the risks.  The AO makes a decision on whether or not to accept the risk based on the authorization package.  The authorization package consists of the system security plan, plan of action and milestone, security/risk assessment report and any other supporting documents.


More on DIARMF – Authorization

risk management framework – Step 6. Continuous Monitoring

After acceptance of risk by the organization, they must develop a program that monitors the ongoing changes to the systems security posture.   They take a proactive approach to watching for advanced persistent threats, configuration changes and new vulnerabilities. Risk management framework step 6 handles all of this. 

More on DIARMF – Continuous Monitoring

Tags : authorization packageDIARMFDIARMF - Continuous Monitoringdiarmf - implementDIARMF A&A - Assessment Authorizationdiarmf assessdiarmf assess and authorizaitondiarmf authorizationnist risk management frameworknist risk management framework 800-37riskrisk management frameworkrisk management framework stepsrmfsecurity assessment resystem security plan
Bruce Brown

The author Bruce Brown

I have done a lot of work with Risk Management Framework for DoD IT (formerly DIACAP,DITSCAP). I noticed there was not a lot of information for security engineers on the nuts and bolts of it, so i started writing it down. security is just a hobby. my real job is to help humanity out of poverty (information & financial poverty). I am sure we can do it together maybe rmf will help humanity. ;p the internet maybe our greatest hope, we should keep it safe.

Leave a Response