Definition

Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC)

Part of the Government IT glossary:

Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) is a checklist for mandatory configuration settings on desktop and laptop computers owned by the United States government. The goal of FDCC compliance is to establish baseline security parameters and facilitate administrative tasks such as patch management

FDCC settings are currently available for Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack (SP) 2 or SP 3 as well as Microsoft Windows Vista Business, Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise and Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate with SP 1. While FDCC does not currently apply to Windows 7, Macintosh OS X or Linux, these operating systems are under review for future inclusion. 

FDCC was mandated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2008. Government agencies are required to document compliance with FDCC by scanning workstations and laptops with a Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) tool provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  

Some government agencies have reported difficulties complying with FDCC because the uniform settings conflict with custom applications or interfere with basic functions such as network printing and wireless networks already in place. To accommodate the specific needs of different agencies, NIST requires that every deviation from the FDCC standardized configuration settings be fully documented with an explanation for why the deviation is necessary.

Learn more

The National Vulnerability Database has more information about FDCC.

Microsoft provides support for complying with FDCC.

This was last updated in April 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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