i-PRO Americas Advocates for FIPS Adherence

i-PRO Americas emphasizes that valid, third-party verified cybersecurity measures are important in today’s world where corporations, government and even private organizations are under attack.

“Ask any security vendor how cybersecure their solutions is, and you’ll most likely be told ‘it’s great’, but how can we objectively measure the relative cyber-worthiness of a network device? Just ask the experts,” says Will Knehr, Senior Manager of Information Assurance and Data Privacy at i-PRO Americas, Inc.

With the ever increasing rise in cybercrime, i-PRO Americas Inc., a global developer of professional security solutions for surveillance and public safety, is advocating for companies to install more cyber-resilient network security devices. According to Knehr, organizations need look no further than the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for expertise. More specifically, NIST’s IT laboratory regularly publishes its Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) which define the security requirements for cryptographic modules to ensure computer security and interoperability for U.S. government agencies and contractors.

iPRO Explains How FIPS Protects Cybersecurity

FIPS was created in part by merging cyber best practices from many other technical groups like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as well as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to name a few. When an organization says they are FIPS certified at a certain level, it’s possible to know exactly how cyber secure they are. And because technology changes quickly and new exploits are found, FIPS represents an evolving list of standards that IT and security professionals can monitor and adopt over time.

While FIPS compliance ensures protection for any IoT device installed in a business, it is particularly important for any organization that receives federal funding, either directly or indirectly. This also includes state, local, and education procurement (SLED) markets. Additionally, FIPS is considered a part of cyber best practices by other frameworks and policies such as Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), the healthcare industry’s HITRUST framework, and more recently, the StateRAMP standards that many U.S. States are adopting. In general, any IT department that has been asked to build their environments in a compliant framework with NIST, is effectively following the security requirements laid out in the FIPS publication.

The Secure Element

Part of the state-of-the-art behind protecting IoT devices, like network cameras, is utilizing a secure element. A secure element is a tamper-resistant integrated circuit chip that can be used to generate and store cryptographic keys. Unlike a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) which can be used in a similar way, a secure element is small, fast, more secure, and is more easily deployable in edge devices. For example, i-PRO uses the EdgeLock secure element, and a set of FIPS compliant encryption algorithms are preloaded and configured within the secure element, enabling it to generate secure cryptographic keys from within the camera. By providing a secure platform for storing and processing this sensitive data, the secure element helps to protect users from a wide variety of attacks and tampering.

Another benefit of utilizing a secure element is its ability to lock third-party apps too. This enables a secure open platform approach where third-party plugins can be installed on a camera without concern that they might compromise its cybersecurity. It’s worth mentioning that not every camera contains a secure element, and some manufacturers charge extra for models that include them. Some vendors also charge to install third-party certificates too. So, it’s good practice to add this capability to any “must have list” of features when evaluating products.

“When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s important to rely on facts from a third-party organization with groups of peer-reviewed data scientists and mathematicians whose sole focus is to think about security all day, every day,” adds Knehr.

“FIPS represents a curated collection of approved encryption algorithms that can ensure that network devices are secure. A secure element chip is the best way to deploy FIPS in any IoT device.”

More news from iPRO Americas: i-PRO Award from OMNIA Partners Fuels Public Sector Use of Edge-Based AI Analytics

This item originally appeared on SSI’s sister publication’s website CEPro.com

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