Federal Information Processing Standards



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Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are standards and guidelines issued by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for federal government computer systems. FIPS are developed when there are compelling federal government requirements for standards, such as for security and interoperability, but acceptable industry standards or solutions do not exist.

WebSphere Portal tolerates WAS's support of FIPS 140-2. WAS integrates cryptographic modules such as Java Secure Socket Extension (JSSE) and Java Cryptography Extension (JCE), which are FIPS 140-2 certified.

WebSphere refers to FIPS 140-2 certified IBM JSSE and JCE modules as IBMJSSEFIPS and IBMJCEFIPS, which distinguishes the FIPS-certified modules from the prior, non-certified IBM JSSE and IBM JCE modules.

The FIPS 140-2 compliant toleration means that WebSphere Portal will continue to work after WAS is configured to activate FIPS 140-2 compliant security modules. The WebSphere Portal product has no self-contained cryptographic support and as a result is unaware of the module differences.

Functions in WebSphere Portal that use encryption include:

It is assumed, though not required, that all the connections listed above will be carried over SSL using FIPS-compliant encryption. Without FIPS 140-2 support connections may not be encrypted. And there is no requirement that every connection be SSL, even with FIPS-enabled cryptography over TLS, but again your connection may not be encrypted.


Lotus Sametime currently does not support FIPS 140-2.

By default, Microsoft Internet Explorer might not have TLS enabled. To enable TLS, open the Internet Explorer browser and click...

...and select the Use TLS 1.0 check box.

The IBM Tivoli Directory Server provides the Use FIPS certified implementation option, which enables the directory server the FIPS-certified encryption algorithms uses. For information, see "Setting the level of encryption" within the IBM Tivoli Directory Server Administration Guide.

IBMJSSEFIPS is not supported on the HP-UX platform.

You can only use FIPS-certified JSSE providers if your servers and clients are using WAS.

Parent topic:

Security and authentication

Related tasks

Activate SSL and FIPS