FIPS 140-2: Validation VS Compliance

FIPS Validation vs FIPS Compliance

NIST established the crucial set of guidelines known as FIPS 140-2 to safeguard sensitive data, particularly for governmental organizations. It is to provide security and privacy when encrypting and decrypting data.

The primary distinction between FIPS 140-2 validation and compliance is that. In contrast, validation involves determining if a system or product has been developed to comply with the standard’s requirements; compliance is putting those requirements into practice.

Validation is usually more stringent than compliance and can be done by either a government-approved laboratory or an impartial third party.

Before any system or product can be utilized in a controlled environment, it must undergo FIPS 140-2 certification, which may be time-consuming and expensive. The validation process comprises testing for criteria including cryptographic ability, authentication, and key management to ensure the product or system is compliant and safe.

FIPS 140-2 compliance, on the other hand, is a lot easier procedure. Once a system or product has been validated, all that is required of the user is to ensure that their system is configured correctly and to adhere to the standard’s requirements.

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What are FIPS 140-2 Guidelines and Authorization?

FIPS 140-2 guidelines must be followed by every entity that deals with sensitive data. To be authorized for usage in a controlled environment, a system must complete two separate procedures: validation and compliance.

Validation is the only procedure that can result in certification, which is the most time-consuming and expensive step. Compliance is significantly easier and may call for designing a system or product to meet standard specifications.

To be authorized for usage in a controlled environment, a system must complete two separate procedures: validation and compliance. Validation is the sole procedure that can result in certification, which is also the most time-consuming and expensive step.

Contrarily, compliance is significantly easier and may call for designing a system or product to adhere to the standard’s specifications.

Numerous businesses seek out goods or services that have received FIPS 140-2 accreditation for securing sensitive data. It’s essential to remember that FIPS 140-2 accreditation has two levels: validation and compliance. These two labels differ significantly from one another despite their apparent similarity.

Recommended: What is FIPS? Importance, Levels, Validation

FIPS certification denotes that a product has completed several demanding tests at a recognized national testing facility. The FIPS 140-2 certification establishes a specified performance standard that the product must fulfill.

FIPS compliance, on the other hand, occurs when a product’s many components have each received independent FIPS validation, yet the product has failed the tests at the authorized laboratory. Even though compliant items can be utilized, they are not regarded as FIPS 140-2 verified products, which is an essential distinction to make.

What is the Difference Between FIPS Validation and FIPS Compliance?

It’s crucial to understand the distinction between FIPS validation and compliance when looking at products for information security. FIPS validation is the preferable solution in terms of security. The most significant degree of security and performance is provided by validated products, which are essential for businesses managing sensitive data.

The security of Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) data is protected by the FIPS 140-2 standard across organizations and agencies. When examining solutions that are made to manage this data, it is important to understand this distinction because compliance does not imply a fully standardized and conformant solution but rather is concerned with upholding the established standards.

Contrarily, validation suggests that a product has undergone extensive testing and can reliably offer governmental organizations a standardized and secure solution.

Choosing goods that have passed the FIPS 140-2 validation testing is crucial when choosing devices to handle SBU data. This ensures the product complies with established standards for securing sensitive data and can manage the data safely. The solution will thus be able to offer the highest level of protection for the sensitive data of the organizations.

Ways to Validate Your FIPS Product

Do you wish to guarantee your company’s cybersecurity? Are you trying to figure out how to tell whether a product has been FIPS validated? We can help with that!

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a good place to start. A list of all FIPS-validated modules is kept up to date by NIST. You can do a basic, comprehensive, or vendor-specific search.
  • The certificates will be shown along with their number, vendor, module name, type, and validation date. Simply click on the certification number to acquire further details, such as the validation level or lab.
  • Visit the NIST website for additional information about FIPS validation. You can learn more about the different kinds of validation and how to apply for validation here. Even FIPS 140-2, the government standard for cryptography modules, may be studied.

We hope this is a useful starting point for learning about FIPS validation!

Why do you need a Validated FIPS 140-2?

Nowadays, FIPS 140-2 certification is required for any technology or product that handles sensitive data. Companies must comply with FIPS regulations if they keep, handle, or access sensitive data. This is true for both private businesses and the US government. This norm also applies to the private sectors, such as the financial and healthcare industries.

Recommended: FIPS 140-2 Encryption for Mobile App Security

Validation verifies that the product complies with the Federal Data Processing Standard (FDPS) requirements and is safe and secure. This indicates that the product satisfies all of the FIPS 140-2 standard requirements for security measures.

Trust is also a factor, in addition to security. Customers may trust a product or service that has been validated because it demonstrates to them that it fulfills a specific standard of security.

The most popular security standard for goods and services that deal with private data is FIPS 140-2. Given its lengthy history (it was founded in 2001) and continuing changes, this makes logical.

A FIPS 140-2 certification is crucial if your product or service handles sensitive data. Customers are assured that the product or service complies with the highest security standards and can trust that their data is safe.

Concluding up

Understanding the difference between validation and compliance regarding products that manage SBU data is critical. Validation testing is the only reliable approach to ensure that the product can safely handle the data per the established standards.

The only way to ensure that your business can handle sensitive data safely and confidently in compliance with legal requirements is to use solutions that have completed the FIPS 140-2 validation testing.

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Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.

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