Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cisco Unified Wireless Network Receives FIPS 140-2 Validation

Cisco Systems' Unified Wireless LAN Controllers and Access Points have received National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 level 2 validation of its IEEE 802.11i WLAN security architecture.

Cisco said it has been working closely with the Department of Defense (DoD) in defining requirements to enable higher levels of security and interoperability in wireless solutions. By meeting these cryptographic security standards with FIPS validation, the Cisco Unified Wireless Network meets another critical security requirement mandated by the DoD policy for commercial WLAN deployments.

Currently, Cisco is the only centralized WLAN solution listed in process with the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) Common Criteria program for conformance to the U.S. government WLAN Access System Protection Profile for Basic Robustness -- the final step in achieving total DoD Directive 8100.2 compliance. All new DoD acquisitions for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) WLAN systems must be evaluated against this protection profile. Cisco expects to achieve final Common Criteria validation in the first quarter of 2007.

Cisco notes that FIPS certification and compliance with DoD Directive 8100.2 wireless policy provides government customers the ability to use wireless more expansively, including deployment of advanced wireless services such as asset tracking, voice and security for guest networking. Prior to the DoD wireless policy, interoperability of highly secure WLAN deployments was not assured. This policy defines the interoperability required for true enterprise-wide highly secure WLAN deployments by mandating the use of IEEE 802.11i, the IEEE standard for implementing wireless security.

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