Microsoft announced today that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has given Windows Phone 8 its FIPS 140-2 security accreditation after extensive testing.
The certification means NIST has found WP8 meets a set of security requirements surrounding the cryptography included in WP8 that are used by the US government and others to determine whether or not a particular piece of technology is suitable for secure applications.
That’s good news for Windows Phone, which has had a hard time gaining traction in the smartphone market. The FIPS 140-2 certification could help Microsoft gain customers inside the US and Canadian governments, as well as other organizations that care about NIST security certifications.
It’s also possible that Microsoft could end up facing the same uphill battle against entrenched players it’s currently fighting in the consumer market. iOS and Apple’s line of smartphones and tablets have held the same certification for the past two years, and other smartphones from manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola Mobility also hold a FIPS 140-2 certification.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.