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FIPS 140–2 Compliance for Database Encryption

On specific platforms, InterSystems IRIS® supports FIPS 140–2 compliant cryptography for database encryption. (FIPS 140–2 refers to Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 140-2, which is available at https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips140-2/fips1402.pdf. )

Supported Platforms

InterSystems IRIS supports FIPS 140-2–compliant cryptography for database encryption on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for x86-64. For each supported version, Red Hat has a certificate of validation for the OpenSSL libcrypto.so and libssl.so libraries; this certificate is available at the site listed below.

Red Hat 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3
Red Hat 7.4 and later

For information about Red Hat support for government standards, see https://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/industries/government/standards.

Enabling FIPS Support

To enable InterSystems IRIS support for FIPS 140–2 compliant cryptography for database encryption, do the following:

  1. Download and install the openssl package from the RedHat repository (rhel-6-server-rpms or rhel-7-server-rpms, depending on which version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for x86-64 you are using).

  2. Enable FIPS mode for the operating system. For information, see one of the following:

    Be sure to reboot and to check that FIPS mode is enabled.

  3. Check the directory /usr/lib64 for the following symbolic links. If these do not exist, create them:

    • The symbolic link libssl.so should point to the appropriate file (such as libssl.so.1.0.2k), in the same directory.

    • The symbolic link libcrypto.so should point to the appropriate file (such as libcrypto.so.1.0.2k), in the same directory.

  4. In InterSystems IRIS, specify the FIPSMode CPF parameter as True (1). To do so:

    1. Open the Management Portal.

    2. Select System Administration > Configuration > Additional Settings > Startup.

      Here you will see a row for FIPSMode.

    3. Specify the value for FIPSMode as True and save your change.

  5. Restart InterSystems IRIS.

You can then continue performing any activities that involve database encryption and they will be FIPS-compliant.

Note:

There is no need to perform any database re-encryption operations when you enable or disable support for the FIPS-compliant libraries. InterSystems IRIS uses the same encryption key and encryption algorithm whether or not it is operating in a FIPS-compliant mode.

For background on encrypted databases, see “Using Encrypted Databases” in the chapter “Managed Key Encryption” in Security Administration Guide.

Startup Behavior and messages.log

When InterSystems IRIS is started:

  • If FIPSMode is 0, InterSystems IRIS native cryptography is used, including optimized assembly code using Intel AES-NI hardware instructions, if supported by the CPU. In this mode, InterSystems IRIS writes the following to messages.log upon startup:

    FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography for database encryption is not configured in iris.cpf
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  • If FIPSMode is 1, InterSystems IRIS attempts to resolve references to functions in the /usr/lib64/libcrypto.so FIPS-validated library, and then attempts to initialize the library in FIPS mode. If these steps are successful, InterSystems IRIS writes the following to messages.log:

    FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography for database encryption is enabled for this instance.
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  • If FIPSMode is 1, but the initialization of the library is unsuccessful, InterSystems IRIS does not start. In this case, messages.log contains the following message:

    FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography for database encryption initialization failed. Aborting.
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  • On platforms other than lnxrhx64, if FIPSMode is 1, InterSystems IRIS native cryptography is used, and InterSystems IRIS writes the following to messages.log:

    FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptography for database encryption is not supported on this platform.
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