Definition: Configuration refers to the hardware and software settings that establish a known state with the information infrastructure and its specific functions. Specific values that determine how an information system should function are determined by policy. A policy is implemented by specifying that the information system is to function in specific ways. Special care must be taken when establishing settings on equipment and software that interact within a system. Establishing and altering the settings of hardware and software directly influence the manner in which an information system works. Failure to do so could increase an individual or an organization's vulnerability.

Its Relevance: Hardware and software can be directed to work in a number of different ways. For example, messages from certain Internet addresses can be blocked from entering an information system and turned around at the perimeter of the network. Systems can be commanded to encrypt certain information. The precise manner in which each component functions must be known and documented.

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