What is FIPS?

FIPS or Federal Information Processing Standards are a list of publicly announced standards issued by The United States Federal Government. These can be used by non-military government agencies and government contractors. These standards were made for compatibility across the network, and to strengthen digital security.

The 140 series of FIPS specify requirements for cryptographic modules. In May 2001, FIPS 140-2 was issues, which is the current version. FIPS 140-3 will begin testing on 22nd September 2020.

FIPS 140-2 has 4 levels going through level 1 to level 4. Level 1 is the lowest which imposes very limited restrictions. As we go higher to Level 4, requirements become more stringent and develops more robustness against environmental attacks.