Chief Technology Officer and Senior Director of Engineering and Architecture U.S. Public Sector
Contributing Author: Marcus Moffett, CTO and Senior Director of Engineering and Architecture, U.S. Public Sector

Digital transformation, various regulations, increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber security threats, and new paradigms such as IoT and hybrid work are transforming enterprise networks and making them more complex to manage. These networks need a modern network management system to run the network efficiently through intelligent automation, securely through easy-to-administer policy management and enforcement, and reliably through proactive and predictive analytics. Cisco DNA Center, the best-in-class modern network management system for Cisco Catalyst networks, addresses this need. It is now FIPS 140-2 certified.

What is Cisco DNA Center?

Cisco DNA Center is a powerful network controller and management system that

  • Gets your network up and running faster with intelligent automation
  • Minimizes business impact by predicting performance issues and preventing outages
  • Helps you focus valuable human capital on business innovation by automating routine operations
  • Accelerates business agility with a powerful Cisco ecosystem and third-party integrations
  • Secures your enterprise with simplified security policy management and strong AI-driven enforcement
  • Scales to support growth of your network
  • Helps you deliver exceptional end-user experience with user and application-centric analytics and assurance

In summary, it lets you take charge of your network, optimize your Cisco investment and lower your IT spending.

Cisco DNA Center is currently installed on a dedicated physical appliance. Cisco announced a new deployment option, Cisco DNA Center Virtual Appliance to provide greater operational flexibility and choice.

Why is FIPS 140 important?

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published Federal Information Processing Standard 140 (FIPS 140: FIPS 140-2 and its latest iteration FIPS 140-3) to define security requirements for cryptographic modules and processes to verify compliance of industry solutions.  US federal and Canadian government agencies, private entities and service providers that work with these agencies are required to implement FIPS 140 validated solutions when using cryptography to protect sensitive information. Governments of other countries, US state and local governments, as well as private enterprises, adopted these standards to ensure the protection of sensitive information. These standards are applicable to applications, databases as well as data and telecommunication networks. Please refer to NIST website for more information on FIPS 140.

Network devices and network management systems use cryptography to assure confidentiality and integrity of information, and to protect administration and management connections. Hence, these cryptographic modules must comply with FIPS 140.

Why should you consider Cisco DNA Center and Cisco?

Cisco DNA Center, the best-in-class network manager for Cisco Catalyst networks, is now FIPS 140-2 certified. It simplifies management, streamlines operation, and provides unprecedented visibility into your network. It is currently playing a key role in DoD base modernization projects by delivering value-added services including Zero-Touch provisioning, software image management (SWIM), integration with identity and access management solutions like Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE), and enabling Zero Trust network access.

Cisco is a leader in securing FIPS-140 validations. Cisco develops cryptographic modules that are FIPS-validated and embeds them in products to achieve compliance. Many Cisco products and solutions, including Cisco Catalyst network devices, are FIPS 140-2 certified.  Cisco is in the process of validating the latest version of our cryptographic modules to meet the FIPS 140-3 certification requirements.  These modules will be embedded in future releases of our products including Cisco DNA Center.

US federal agencies, Canadian government agencies, and all other organizations can now be assured of FIPS 140-2 compliance as well as our commitment to support the latest FIPS 140-3 standards; and take advantage of the business benefits Cisco DNA Center has to offer along with the complete Cisco ecosystem.

Please refer to the following resources for additional information regarding Cisco DNA Center and FIPS 140 compliance.

Cisco DNA Center Overview

Cisco DNA Center Resources

Cisco FIPS 140 Certifications Overview

Cisco DNA Center FIPS Compliance Letter

Customers who are currently using Cisco Prime Infrastructure are advised to consider migration to Cisco DNA Center. Cisco created tools, procedures, and services to enable a smooth migration to Cisco DNA Center.  Please refer to the following resources for more information.

Prime Data Migration Guide

Migrate to Cisco DNA Center without disrupting network operations



Reddy Velagala

Product Marketing Manager

Enterprise Networking and Cloud Marketing