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A Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) is a document that identifies tasks needing to be accomplished to remediate or mitigate risks to a system. It is a requirement under NIST 800-53, which is a guideline for federal agencies and contractors to follow when managing their information security programs. A NIST 800 POA&M, therefore, is a POA&M that is developed in compliance with NIST 800-53 standards.
The NIST 800 POA&M details the resources required to accomplish the elements of the plan, any milestones for meeting the tasks, and scheduled milestone completion dates . The document is continuously updated as progress is made towards remediation, making it a living, dynamic document . The POA&M is a critical tool for anyone responsible for tracking and reporting compliance issues or risks identified for a system .
NIST 800-53r5 recommends the use of security automation software to support the POA&M process. This software can help with tracking POA&M items and milestones, and integrate with ticketing systems for streamlined management of remediation activities .