I've recently been working on a number of A&A tasks for the RMF for a US Government entity, and I'm having a hard time properly understanding the IA-7 control of NIST SP 800-53 and the supplement guidance and 800-53A isn't providing me the clarity I require. For reference, this is the Control Description for IA-7:
The information system implements mechanisms for authentication to a cryptographic module that meet the requirements of applicable federal laws, Executive Orders, directives, policies, regulations, standards, and guidance for such authentication.
Specifically, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what "authentication to a cryptographic module" entails. How does one authenticate to a module as opposed to simply have the necessary access rights to the module on the system? For a bit of background, we primarily utilize openssl, but we also leverage urandom and pgcrypto.