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Windows Phone 8 gets security thumbs-up from US government

Will government security accreditation increase the adoption rates of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8?

Windows Phone 8 has received a key government accreditation called FIPS 140-2, Microsoft said on Wednesday.

Robert Hoover, a Windows Phone project manager, wrote on the official Windows Phone blog that Win Phone 8 has reached an "important new security milestone," which could make the platform a prospect for governments and organizations that require high security and encryption on their networks and communications platforms.

The U.S. government has granted Win Phone 8 the FIPS 140-2 (PDF) security accreditation. FIPS 140-2 is used to scrutinize and assign a level of security to devices, including tablets and smartphones, that use cryptographic algorithms to protect sensitive data stored within.

In total, Windows Phone 8 has received FIPS 140-2 validation for nine cryptographic certificates. The full list of Windows 8 Phone accredited certificates is below:

The accreditation was awarded by the Cryptographic Module Validation Program. In addition to the announcement, Microsoft has also updated its Windows Phone 8 Security Guide to cover policy and EAS firewall settings.

The certification may further boost the adoption of Windows Phone in the enterprise sphere, not only in the U.S. but globally as well -- the FIPS 140-2 accreditation is widely accepted as a security endorsement. In addition, corporations that advocate a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy may be happier to accept platforms with government-backed security validation. However, competition still reigns as Apple's iOS devices and other manufacturers also have such certificates.

In January, the U.S. Department of Defense signed a three-year licensing agreement with Microsoft reseller Insight Public Sector to bring Windows enterprise products to 75 percent of all DoD personnel.

This story originally appeared as "Microsoft Windows Phone 8 granted government security standard" on ZDNet.