Sun Earns Federal Encryption Certification for StorageTek Tape Platform

Sun reveals that it has become the first enterprise tape drive maker to be granted a prestigious federal security qualification: the FIPS 140-2 Certification at Security Level 2 for its StorageTek T10000B tape drive. FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) is a federal data security standard for cryptographic modules published and maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Not much news has been coming from Sun Microsystems lately, due largely to its pending $7.4 billion acquisition by longtime partner Oracle.
Nonetheless, Sun revealed Aug. 19 that it has become the first enterprise tape drive maker to be granted a prestigious federal security qualification: the FIPS 140-2 Certification at Security Level 2 for its Sun StorageTek T10000B tape drive.
FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) is a federal data security standard for cryptographic modules published and maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
All federal agencies are required to use only FIPS-validated products in designing sensitive or valuable data processing systems, Sun said. While FIPS certifications are optional for enterprise users, it now serves as a differentiating factor for Sun's StorageTek products.
There are four levels of FIPS 140-2 certification. FIPS 140-2 Certification at Security Level 2 improves upon the physical security mechanisms of a Security Level 1 cryptographic module by requiring features that show evidence of tampering, including tamper-evident coatings or seals that must be broken to attain physical access to the plaintext cryptographic keys and critical security parameters (CSPs) within the module, or pick-resistant locks on covers or doors to protect against unauthorized physical access.
Data encryption has become a standard tool in enterprise IT security in the last decade. Financial institutions, health care providers, government agencies and numerous other sectors are moving to encryption to add another layer of protection over sensitive data such as names, addresses, credit card numbers and health records.
"The implementation of an encrypted system can mean the difference between the inconvenience of missing or damaged data and a full-blown business crisis that can threaten the very existence of the organization," Sun Storage Group Senior Vice President Jon Benson said in a statement.
In other tape storage news, Sun said that its KMS Agent API, published as an open-source tool kit by the OpenSolaris community, has been adopted by Hewlett-Packard and IBM in their LTO tape drives and by EMC in its RSA RKM enterprise key management system.
For more information on Sun's FIPS 140-2 certification, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...