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Managing Security: The Security Content Automation Protocol



Shirley M. Radack, D. Richard Kuhn


Managing information systems security is an expensive and challenging task. Many different and complex software components- including firmware, operating systems, and applications-must be configured securely, patched when needed, and continuously monitored for security. Most organizations have an extensive set of security requirements. For commercial firms, such requirements are established through complex interactions of business goals, government regulations, and insurance requirements; for government organizations, security requirements are mandated. Meeting these requirements has been time consuming and error prone, because organizations have lacked standardized, automated ways of performing the tasks and reporting on results. To overcome these deficiencies and reduce security administration costs, the National Institute of Standards and Technology developed the security content automation protocol using community supported security resources. SCAP (pronounced "ess-cap") is a suite of specifications that standardizes the format and nomenclature by which security software products communicate information about software identification, software flaws, and security configurations.
IEEE IT Professional


SCAP, Security Content Automation Protocol, information technology, standards


Radack, S. and Kuhn, D. (2011), Managing Security: The Security Content Automation Protocol, IEEE IT Professional, [online],, (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created February 3, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021