Linux: An OS Capable of Effectively Meeting the US Government’s Security Needs Heading into 2020

As Open Source has become increasingly mainstream and widely accepted for its numerous benefits, the use of Linux as a flexible, transparent and highly secure operating system has also increasingly become a prominent choice among corporations, educational institutions and government sectors alike. With national security concerns at an all time high heading into 2020, it appears that the implementation of Linux could effectively meet the United States government’s critical security needs for application development and installations.

Because of its open-source roots, Linux is foundationally secure, highly reliable, and incredibly adaptable. Linux incorporates a “defense-in-depth” approach to security, meaning robust security measures are implemented at every level of development and deployment. Unlike obscure closed-source counterparts, Linux has a fundamental focus on security through transparency.

In order to be approved for use in critical government functions, software and applications must be certified to ensure that they meet certain security standards. Common Criteria, FIPS 140-2 and Secure Technical Implementation Guidelines (STIG) are three security certifications required by the United States Department of Defense. These certifications indicate that technology meets standardized security protocols and cryptographic tools implement their algorithms properly. Linux has been certified to meet all of these criteria, a rare and notable achievement.

For these reasons, Linux is not only an ideal operating system for the development of critically secure government applications, but the inherent openness and flexibility of Linux also make it a great operating system for installations that demand the highest level of security and precision. However, it should be noted that as with any operating system, Linux must first undergo additional stringent testing and development before being further incorporated into the US government’s IT infrastructure.

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