New FIPS 140-2 level 2 certification could spur government adoption of iOS


As BlackBerry continues on its downward spiral, more and more of its government clients are jumping ship. And it’s no secret that pretty much every other handset manufacturer out there is looking to lure the RIM refugees into their respective mobile platforms.

At least it seems that Apple is working hard to earn their business. Just a few months after receiving Level 1 FIPS 140-2 certification—a security standard developed by the US government for use in its computers, comes word that it’s gained Level 2 compliance…

FIPS stands for Federal Information Processing Standard, which is validated by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). And FIPS 140-2 validation is required to sell products implementing cryptography to the Federal Government (via TNW):

“By far the most important to the government market is FIPS 140-2, because FIPS 140-2 Validation is required for sale of products implementing cryptography to the Federal Government. If you don’t have FIPS 140-2 Validation for your product, and can’t show that you are going to be obtaining it, you will not be able to access the government market with your products.”

The certificate, which includes various crypto algorithms, states that only A4 and A5 devices running iOS 6 have been validated. But given Apple’s interest in the space, it’s safe to assume they’re hard at work on getting A6 devices (iPhone 5, etc.) approved as well.

Apple’s efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Last fall, both the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement departments shucked their BlackBerry handsets for iPhones. And the last we heard, the US Department of Defense had granted its iOS devices approval for secure use.

It gets better. Apple’s next generation mobile operating system, iOS 7, includes a number of new security features that could further spur government and enterprise adoption. There’s per app VPN (Virtual Private Network) and Activation Lock, to name a few.