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Feds Validate Cisco

HERNDON, Va. -- Cisco Systems® today extended its leadership position in wireless local area network (WLAN) security by announcing that the Cisco® 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 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.

“With the new DoD secure wireless policy, we are on the threshold of increased interoperability through open standards,” said Colonel Rob Baker from the Department of the Navy’s Navy-Marine Corps Intranet program. “FIPS certification enables the deployment of wireless in a rigorous, secure configuration at many of our bases, posts and stations.”

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.

“FIPS compliance eases agencies’ security concerns and will spur the adoption of wireless networks in the federal government,” said Zeus Kerravala, vice president of infrastructure and security research at Yankee Group. “Companies such as Cisco that are committed to developing and embracing open standards have the clear competitive advantage for delivering government-grade WLAN security solutions.”

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)