Encryption Certification – Not as Cryptic as it Seems

For secure media distribution to be effective, the system must provide a means to encrypt the video, audio and metadata as it passes from device to device, so that even if the signal were to be intercepted it could not be decrypted and the essence exposed.

The U.S. Federal Government has several certification systems (see previous blog) to ensure that encrypted data is handled using the most safeguarded methods available.  Here are three important tips about Encryption Certification:

1. FIPS 140-2:  Encryption is key to protecting IP signals common to system control, such as TCP web sockets for example.  In addition, it is vital that media essence signals, such as audio, video and USB signals are protected and more importantly encrypted under this national standard.  This concept of encrypting signals is the basis of the NIST’s Federal Information Processing Standards or FIPS.

a. Ensuring that signals are encrypted ensures the protection of the actual essence and control signals, even in closed environments.

b. Key management, certificates and tokens will be important considerations on how encryption systems are implemented

2. Video Distribution Systems using IP media need an overall approach and use case regarding how to use the encryption not only in the product, but in the overall system.  The Department of Defense Information Network’s (DoDIN) uses the Approved Products List (APL) to keep track of products, but not solutions.

a. Having a box that can encrypt and decrypt is only a part of the solution.  The entire system must be scalable from small to large with the context of an enterprise grade network that serves these high payload and sensitive audio, video and USB signals.

b. Control panels, servers and controllers as well as the entire ecosystem of securing audio and video must be viewed as an entire system and testing this to standards of the DoDIN are quintessential to assuring a wholistic use case rather than bits and pieces of it.

3. Other certifications may be required for particular use cases that insure protection of sensitive audio and video content throughout the entire workflow.

If you are looking for certified products or solutions, or have questions, please send us a note or give us a call.  We have been through the process many times and have years (decades, actually) of experience in this area.

— Scott Barella, CTO

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