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WISeKey's FIPS 140-2 security reference design for APCO P25 Radios

Secure Interoperability

White Paper – Secure P25 Radio

FIPS140 Certification using the WISeKey VaultIC Secure Element for the Cryptographic Module in P25 Radios

A State-of-the-art example of a FIPS140 certified cryptographic module for P25 secure radios. Implemented by WISeKey with over 20 years of certified secure hardware and PKI experience.



The Project 25 (P25) standard has been instrumental in providing communication security since it was developed to encrypt communication. P25 has also allowed for interoperability of communication between cooperating agencies. See P25 description section.

When the P25 radio is certified to Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140 standards or FIPS140‑2(3);Levels;2&3, a higher level of security can be achieved. Since the Land Mobile Radios (LMRs) are mobile, the keys that they store are subject to physical attacks, this motivates the Level;3, hardware protection requirement. Increasingly, agencies are requiring this higher certification, thereby ensuring the highest level of security.

Designing and certifying a cryptographic module for FIPS140 is challenging, time consuming and expensive. In many cases the certification can take up to or over 2 years

We will show how using the off‑the‑shelf VaultIC Secure Element as a P25 cryptographic module, the radio achieves FIPS140 certification. We will also show how this design approach is an ideal solution to expand radio manufacturers’ Total;Available;Market into FIPS140;Levels 2&3 opportunities. Using this design architecture, there is a shorter time to market since the VaultIC is pre‑certified. Having a pre‑certified cryptographic module eliminates the time it takes for certification.

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