FIPS-140-2 Service Mesh without the pain of Istio

Need a fast and simple way to get Kubernetes FIPS compliance, but don't want to deal with the operational complexity of Istio?

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compliant mesh

The world's lightest, most secure service mesh, now FIPS-compliantLinkerd is a CNCF-graduated, ultra-simple, security-first service mesh that provides all the benefits of Istio without the operational complexity. For deployments that require FIPS compliance, Buoyant's Linkerd Enterprise distribution is a fully-supported distribution of Linkerd that complies with the strict federal government cybersecurity requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FIPS-140-2 and FIPS-140-3 standards. Linkerd Enterprise gives government institutions and those doing business with them the option to conform to FedRAMP certification.


Linkerd's security-first postureLinkerd provides many other benefits over Istio. Unlike Istio, Linkerd has been built for security from the ground up. Instead of repurposing the general-purpose C++ Envoy proxy, Linkerd uses an ultra-secure micro-proxy written in Rust. This allows Linkerd to avoid the security perils of C++, a language known for its security vulnerabilities, buffer overflow exploits, and CVEs.


Who is FIPS-compliant Linkerd for?Linkerd Enterprise is designed specifically for organizations that must comply with FIPS 140-2 NIST standards. If this is you, we'd love to chat about how FIPS-compliant Linkerd can help you achieve FIPS compliance in Kubernetes..

Fips compliant

What is FIPS?

The FIPS standards cover a broad range of topics, including encryption algorithms, access control mechanisms, physical security, and network protocols. These standards are used by government agencies, contractors, and other organizations that handle sensitive information to ensure that their systems meet the highest levels of security and compliance. Compliance with FIPS standards is often a requirement for government contracts and is a critical component of cybersecurity best practices.

‍FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) is a set of guidelines and requirements, including for cryptographic modules, that is used by federal agencies and other regulated industries. FIPS compliance ensures that cryptographic algorithms are implemented correctly and securely, providing strong protection for sensitive data.

FIPS 140-2 vs 800-204A vs 800-207

FIPS 140-2, 800-204A, and 800-207 are different standards published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that address different aspects of information security.

FIPS 140-2 is a standard that specifies the security requirements for cryptographic modules used in protecting sensitive information. It outlines the requirements for the design, implementation, and testing of cryptographic modules, including encryption algorithms, key management, and random number generation.

NIST 800-204A is a guideline that provides recommendations for the security and privacy requirements of controlled unclassified information (CUI) in nonfederal systems and organizations. It outlines the security controls and best practices that should be implemented to protect CUI, including access control, audit and accountability, and incident response.

NIST 800-207 is a standard that outlines the security considerations and best practices for the use of Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) in securing modern information systems. It provides guidance on the design, implementation, and management of ZTA, which is a security model that assumes no trust in any user or device and requires strict authentication and authorization for all system interactions.

In short, FIPS 140-2 specifies the security requirements for cryptographic modules, NIST 800-204A provides guidance on securing controlled unclassified information, and NIST 800-207 outlines the best practices for implementing Zero Trust Architecture in information security.