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Key Considerations When Integrating a New System into an Existing Security Boundary

Published: at 07:20 PM
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With how fast technology evolves and changes, organizations often need to integrate new systems or components into their existing technology infrastructure. However, this integration process can introduce various security risks and challenges if not properly managed. Failing to address these risks can compromise the overall security posture of the organization, leading to potential data breaches, compliance violations, and operational disruptions. In this article I’d like to provide a detailed list of key considerations that should be addressed when integrating a new system into an existing security boundary, covering critical areas such as security impact levels, compliance, configuration management, incident response, and more.

Security Considerations

Security Impact Levels

What are the security impact levels (e.g., low, moderate, high) for confidentiality, integrity, and availability for both the parent system and the sub-system? Understanding this will help determine if the sub-system can meet the security requirements of the parent system.

Compliance and Authorization Status

Is the sub-system currently authorized under its own Authority to Operate (ATO)? Will it require re-authorization once integrated into the parent system?

Security Controls

What security controls are currently implemented in the sub-system? How will these controls need to be adjusted to align with the security control baseline of the parent system?

Dependencies and Interconnections

What are the dependencies and interconnections between the sub-system and the parent system? How will data flow between the systems, and what impact does this have on security?

Configuration Management

How will configuration management be handled? Will the sub-system retain its own configuration management processes, or will it integrate into the parent system’s processes?

Incident Response and Monitoring

How will the sub-system’s security events be monitored? Will the sub-system utilize the parent system’s incident response team and tools, or will it maintain separate capabilities?

Continuity of Operations

What impact does integrating the sub-system have on the continuity of operations for the parent system? Are there any potential single points of failure introduced?

User Access and Management

How will user access be managed? Are there different access control policies between the two systems that need to be reconciled?

Costs and Resources

What are the projected costs associated with the integration? Are additional resources required to ensure a successful integration?

Change Management

How will changes to either the sub-system or the parent system be managed during and after integration? What is the process for handling changes to ensure continued compliance with RMF requirements?

Performance Impact

How will the integration affect the performance of the parent system? Are there any potential bottlenecks or performance degradations to consider?


Integrating a new system into an existing security boundary is a complex process that requires planning and consideration of various security aspects. By addressing the key considerations outlined here in this article, organizations can ensure that the integration is performed in a secure fashion, minimizing potential risks and vulnerabilities. It is worth noting that effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders, including security teams, system administrators, and project managers, is essential throughout the process. By proactively addressing these considerations, organizations can safeguard their critical assets, maintain compliance, and create a resilient security posture. On a final note, please remember that security should be a fundamental priority, not an afterthought!