F5 Offers FIPS Security on Its Big-IP App Delivery Controller

F5 Networks is enhancing the performance and security around SSL-encrypted data to meet the FIPS specifications. The move means that the F5 product is certified for use by government agencies. The FIPS spec also is being embraced by other industries known for encrypting sensitive data, such as health care and financial services, both of which are seeing growing levels of government regulation.

F5 Networks is making its application delivery system ready for government agencies and other institutions with highly sensitive data.

F5 announced June 15 that its Big-IP 6900 Application Delivery Controller now comes in an edition that supports the FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard), which provides high performance and greater security around SSL-encrypted application traffic.

The FIPS support means that F5's Big-IP system manages FIPS security, rather than having each individual server do the job. By consolidating that task onto F5's application delivery system, organizations can save as much as 25 percent on compliance costs, according to F5 officials.

The move addresses concerns not only from the federal government, but also other industries, including health care and financial services, that have high levels of sensitive data that needs encryption. Those concerns are only growing as more government regulations-along the lines of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act-are instituted.

FIPS specs, which were established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, outline how businesses and government agencies much secure and encrypt critical information. Federal agencies are required to use FIPS-certified products-such as F5's application delivery system-and the standard also is being adopted by businesses outside of the government.

F5 officials say their FIPS edition of the Big-IP 6900 offers enhanced SSL security through the ability to store, process and encrypt not only the data but also the keys in a hardware-secured module. IT also offers speeds of up to 20,000 transactions per second and 3.6G bps of bulk encryption, officials said.