Federal Desktop Core Configuration

What Does Federal Desktop Core Configuration Mean?

The federal desktop core configuration (FDCC) defines a set of mandatory configuration requirements for the Microsoft Windows XP pro and Windows Vista operating systems to be used on desktop computers that are connected to a network of a United States government agency.


The main purpose of the FDCC mandate is to build a strong federal IT security and minimize the exploitation risks by the hackers on the government computer systems. FDCC mandate applies to all desktops and laptops that are connected to a network of a US government agency.

Techopedia Explains Federal Desktop Core Configuration

The US office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum to the federal agencies to develop plans for using the Microsoft Windows XP and Vista security configurations. As a result, FDCC was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in joint venture with OMB, DHS, DOI, DISA, NSA, USAF and Microsoft.

The federal agencies certify the desktop systems to be FDCC complaint using tools that support the secure content automation protocol (SCAP) specified by the NIST. The OMB has enforced FDCC compliance by mandating federal procurement guidelines covering applications running on XP Pro or Vista operating systems. The federal agencies must also ensure that the third-party vendor software on Federal desktop systems doesn’t make the systems non-complaint with the FDCC.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…