NIST announces accreditation program for IT labs

The National Institute of Standards and Technology today announced the creation of an accreditation program for laboratories that test commercial information technology security products for compliance with federal and international standards.

The National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program will evaluate laboratories for their accordance with the National Information Assurance Partnership's Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme.

NIST and the National Security Agency created the NIAP and the common criteria scheme to make it easier for federal agencies to choose commercial IT security products that meet certain standards. The NIAP Validation Body will review the test reports from the labs and issue certificates for the products. NIST will periodically assess the labs for reaccreditation.

NIAP also is working toward a Common Criteria Mutual Recognition Agreement with similar organizations in five other countries to set a wider-reaching common standard for security products.

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