IT/NETWORKING--Encryption 101

Primer on encryption of security data and communications


Encryption compliance standards emerge

“We see a compliance standard emerging as part of NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology),” Surfaro said. “It mandates the use of encryption as well as identification and authentication for physical devices that communicate on government networks—including enterprise commercial and critical emergency and public safety systems owned by public and private institutions.”

These encryption standards will be established to provide a hardware-based “root of trust,” which can be trusted by IT enterprise domains and the federal government under another group known as the Federal Bridge Certificate Authority, which can validate transactions and electronic communications over secure encrypted channels with other agencies creating an interoperable trusted framework that uses encryption, digital signing, and device authentication and identification.

Device authentication and enhanced endpoint security strategies can be applied to both private and public cloud solutions.

There is also a need for encryption when it comes to cloud-based security services. According to Washington: “There are a number of directives and strategies for the federal government to adopt shared enterprise IT services using virtualization and cloud hosted environments,” he said.

One of these strategies is the modernization of government facilities to support Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) on a federal level. This will permit live viewing and situational awareness across all federal facilities and integrate facial recognition, video analytics and predictive threat modeling on an enterprise scale.

As these systems are deployed, they will be protected from unauthorized viewing through the use of video encryption, which will only permit users who are in possession of a government or commercial issued personal identity credential known as HSPD-12 or PIV, to securely gain access to live or stored video regardless of geographic location.

A Federal Cloud Hosting provider will accept these credentials to establish an encrypted session through a secure authentication portal to review stored video, and can export live video to first responders.



Curt Harler is a technology freelance writer and a regular contributor to SD&I magazine. Reach him at