Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

Access World-Class NIST RMF Documentation with ASP Learn More

NIST 800-53, Revision 5 Audit and Accountability (AU) Policy Templates

Arlington Security Portal

Get Access to 100 + NIST RMF security and privacy policies & procedures, programs, and plan templates.

NIST 800-53 provides guidance on audit and accountability controls, which are crucial for maintaining the security and integrity of information systems. The audit and accountability controls outlined in NIST 800-53 help organizations monitor and track system activity, detect security incidents, and ensure compliance with security policies and regulations. Here are some key aspects of audit and accountability as addressed in NIST 800-53.

  • Audit Policy and Procedures: Organizations should establish and maintain a comprehensive audit policy that defines the scope, frequency, and methods for conducting audits. Procedures should be documented to guide personnel on how to perform audits effectively and efficiently.
  • Audit Trail: Information systems should generate audit records that capture essential details of system activity. This includes user authentication and authorization events, privileged activities, modifications to security settings, and any other significant events relevant to security monitoring and incident response.
  • Audit Record Content: Audit records should contain sufficient information to support after-the-fact investigation and reporting of security incidents. This includes timestamps, source and destination addresses, user and system identifiers, and other relevant details to reconstruct events and actions.
  • Audit Generation: Information systems should automatically generate audit records for specified events and activities. The generation should be based on policy settings and configurations that define the types of events to be audited.
  • Audit Storage and Protection: Audit records should be protected against unauthorized access, modification, and deletion. Organizations should implement appropriate controls to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of audit records throughout their lifecycle.
  • Audit Analysis and Reporting: Organizations should regularly analyze audit records to identify security events, anomalies, and patterns that may indicate security incidents or policy violations. Incident response procedures should be in place to promptly investigate and address any identified issues. Additionally, organizations should develop processes for generating security reports based on audit data to meet compliance requirements and support management decision-making.
  • Time Stamps: Audit records should include timestamps to accurately reflect when events occurred. These timestamps should be generated by reliable time sources and recorded in a consistent format to facilitate correlation and analysis of events across different systems and components.
  • Non-Repudiation: Audit records should be protected against tampering and ensure the non-repudiation of recorded events. This helps establish the authenticity and integrity of audit data, preventing individuals from denying their actions or modifying records to hide unauthorized activities.

These are some of the key controls and considerations related to audit and accountability outlined in NIST 800-53. Organizations should assess their systems against these controls, tailor them to their specific needs, and implement appropriate security measures to ensure the effectiveness and reliability of their audit capabilities.

100 + NIST 800-53 Templates Available for Download for Federal Contractors

The solution for federal contractors is the Arlington Security Portal (ASP), an online repository of world-class, industry leading security and privacy policies & procedures, programs, plans – and other highly essential documents & templates developed specifically on NIST SP 800-53, Revision 5.

From Beginning to End, Complete Project Management for NIST RMF

With Arlington, we can manage your entire NIST RMF A&A process from beginning to end (i.e., from the initial scoping & gap assessment to post-Authorization to Operate (ATO) activities), providing essential services for getting you to the finish line in terms of your ATO.  Core services and solutions offered include the following:

  • Scoping & Gap (i.e., Readiness) Assessments
  • Remediation Services (Policy and Procedures writing)
  • Remediation Services (Technical and Operational)
  • System Security Plan (SSP) Development
  • Security Assessment Reports (SAR)
  • Continuous Monitoring (ConMon) Services

About Arlington

We are Arlington, a team of innovative, solution-oriented, highly agile, and well-versed professionals with decades of experience in working with America’s defense industry. From emerging cybersecurity regulations to helping our clients solve complex security & compliance solutions – and so much more – you can trust Arlington, the firm that’s Dedicated to Defense®.  Learn more at