ACCEPTABLE ENCRYPTION POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance that limits the use of encryption to those algorithms that have received substantial public review and have been proven to work effectively. Additionally, this policy provides direction to ensure that Federal regulations are followed, and legal authority is granted for the dissemination and use of encryption technologies outside of the United States.
This policy applies to all Nicholls State University employees and affiliates.
3.1 Algorithm Requirements
Ciphers in use must meet or exceed the set defined as “AES-compatible” or “partially AES-compatible” according to the IETF/IRTF Cipher Catalog, or the set defined for use in the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) publication FIPS 140-2, or any superseding documents according to the date of implementation. The use of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is strongly recommended for symmetric encryption.Employees must use extreme caution when opening e-mail attachments received from unknown senders, which may contain malware.
Algorithms in use must meet the standards defined for use in NIST publication FIPS 140-2 or any superseding document, according to date of implementation. The use of the RSA and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) algorithms is strongly recommended for asymmetric encryption.
3.2 Hash Function Requirements
3.3 Key Agreement Authentication
Key exchanges must use one of the following cryptographic protocols: Diffie-Hellman, IKE, or Elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH).
End points must be authenticated prior to the exchange or derivation of session keys.
Public keys used to establish trust must be authenticated prior to use. Examples of authentication include transmission via cryptographically signed message or manual verification of the public key hash.Signature Algorithms
All servers used for authentication (for example, RADIUS or TACACS) must have installed a valid certificate signed by a known trusted provider.
3.4 Key Generation
Cryptographic keys must be generated and stored in a secure manner that prevents loss, theft, or compromise.
Key generation must be seeded from an industry standard random number generator (RNG). For examples, see NIST Annex C: Approved Random Number Generators for FIPS PUB 140-2.
4. POLICY COMPLIANCE
4.1 Compliance Measurement
The Information Technology team will verify compliance to this policy through various methods, including but not limited to, business tool reports, internal and external audits, and feedback to the policy owner.
Any exception to the policy must be approved by the Information Technology team in advance.
An employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
5. RELATED STANDARDS, POLICIES AND PROCESSES
LAST REVISED: 09:2019