Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) is a US and Canadian government standard with varying security requirements for encryption modules that protect sensitive information.
It is crucial for any organization to maintain the security of sensitive data, such as Personally Identified Information (PII), at all circumstances. Standards, regulations, and best practices for data protection were developed to simplify this procedure. The Federal Information Protection Standard, or FIPS, is one of these standards.
The Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are the standards and guidelines published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in accordance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and approved by the Secretary of Commerce. These standards and guidelines are developed for a certain government requirement when there is no acceptable standards. Although FIPS are Although FIPS were designed for use by the federal government, it has been widely adopted around the world in both governmental and non-governmental sectors.
The Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) outlined wide range of data security measures and computer system standards. Organizations that strictly adhere with these security measures and standards are called FIPS compliant, which means that the product “hardware” they offer meets specific security requirements.
According to the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), all U.S. government entities, including contractors and independent contractors, must employ FIPS 140-2 to protect sensitive data, developed by NIST and has been in use since May 2001.
The main aim of FIPS 140-2 is to increase the security of computer and communications systems used by the government. FIPS 140-2 accomplishes this purpose by establishing a cryptographic-based security standard that must be met by any system that protects sensitive but unclassified data. Moreover, the FIPS protocol guarantees a uniform standard to defend against increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats and attacks.
FIPS 140-3 is the most recent version of the US government computer security standard used to evaluate cryptographic modules, which was approved by the Secretary of Commerce in March of 2019.
FIPS 140-3 will coexist with FIPS 140-2 for a while; FIPS 140-2 validation will continue for a year following FIPS 140-3 certification. FIPS 140-2 certificates likewise have a 5-year expiration date. Hence, while testing for FIPS 140-3 can begin immediately, agencies do not need to dive headfirst into FIPS 140-3.