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DHS Sensitive Systems Policy Directive 4300A: Information Technology Security Program (Ver. 8.0) (Mar. 14, 2011) (full-text).


This DHS Sensitive Systems Policy Directive 4300A articulates the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Information Technology (IT) Security Program policies for sensitive systems. Procedures for implementing these policies are outlined in a companion publication: DHS 4300A Sensitive Systems Handbook. The handbook serves as a foundation for DHS Components to develop and implement their IT security programs.

IT Security Program Policy[]

The DHS IT Security Program provides a baseline of policies, standards, and guidelines for DHS Components. This document provides direction to managers and senior executives for managing and protecting sensitive systems. It also outlines policies relating to management, operational, and technical controls necessary for ensuring confidentiality, integrity, availability, authenticity, and nonrepudiation within the DHS IT infrastructure and operations.

The policies and direction contained in the Directive apply to all DHS Components. IT security policies and implementing procedures for National Security Systems are covered in DHS National Security Systems Policy Directive 4300B and DHS 4300B National Security Systems Handbook.

The DHS IT Security Program does not apply to systems that process, store, or transmit National Intelligence Information.

DHS IT security policies delineate the security management structure and foundation to measure progress and compliance. Policies in this document were organized under three areas: management, operational, and technical.

  • Management Controls – Focus on managing both the IT security system and system risk. These controls consist of risk mitigation techniques and concerns normally addressed by management.
  • Operational Controls – Focus on mechanisms primarily implemented and executed by people. These controls are designed to improve the security of a particular system, or group of systems. These controls require technical or specialized expertise and often rely on management and technical controls.
  • Technical Controls – Focus on security controls executed by IT systems. These controls provide automated protection from unauthorized access or misuse. They facilitate detection of security violations, and support security requirements for applications and data.