Federal Desktop Core Configuration: Definition, Examples


The Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) is a standardized configuration of settings established by the U.S. Federal Government to create a secure computing environment for government desktop and laptop computers. It includes settings for software, hardware, and operating systems. The motive behind FDCC is to reduce security risks and maintenance costs, increase efficiency, and allow a quick response to security threats.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Federal Desktop Core Configuration” is:Fed-er-al Desk-top Core Con-fig-u-ra-tion

Key Takeaways

Sure, here you go:

  1. The Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) is a mandated baseline security configuration setup for all United States Federal Government-owned computers. It is designed to provide a high level of security without a significant impact on system functionality or performance.
  2. The standard was created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and requires the use of specific versions of Microsoft Windows and other accessories. The aim is to minimize the potential risks from vulnerabilities, reduce configuration differences and related complications, and lower the total cost of ownership.
  3. Despite FDCC being no longer in use since 2012, it was replaced by the United States Government Configuration Baseline (USGCB). USGCB continues to provide similar guidelines for a secure and standardized configuration of federal systems, including both desktops and laptops.


The Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC), now known as the U.S. Government Configuration Baseline (USGCB), is a vital technology term as it defines the standard settings in the federal sector for computer systems running on Microsoft’s operating systems. These configurations, recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), are intended to enhance the security of government computers, ensuring they are less vulnerable to cyberattacks, malware, and unauthorized access. FDCC reduces variations in security configurations across devices, simplifies system management, and helps in achieving uniform performance levels, therefore increasing efficiency and enhancing overall security in the governmental IT environment.


The Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) is a security standard implemented by the United States federal government to ensure a unified and secure operating environment across all federal desktop computers. The primary purpose of FDCC is to safeguard the government’s network and information system from potential security threats and vulnerabilities. It is used to create a standardized configuration across all computers that support the federal government’s IT infrastructure. These set configurations help minimize the risk of disruption, data loss, and unauthorized access to information.FDCC functions by setting certain security protocols and settings which includes password requirements, system services, and network configuration among others. It delivers an optimized, secure, and standardized system framework for all desktop computers throughout the federal network. This standardization allows for simplified IT management, reduction in the potential points of cyber-attack, and facilitation of more efficient and effective risk mitigation strategies. In a nutshell, FDCC helps to maintain optimal security and operational efficiency across the federal government’s IT infrastructure.


Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) is a security mandate issued by the U.S. Federal Government designed to provide policies for standardizing the configuration of government computer systems. Here are three real-world examples: 1. **FDCC in the Department of Defense (DoD)**: The DoD has utilized the FDCC to provide a consistent standard across its information networks. This has helped to ensure that every computer, whether it’s part of the office infrastructure or situated in a battlefield command center, adheres to the same security protocols.2. **Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)**: In the FBI, FDCC plays a vital role in maintaining the security of data. As the FBI handles high-risk data, implementing uniform security measures across their desktop systems helps minimize the risk of malicious attacks and information breaches. 3. **U.S Department of the Treasury**: For a financial institution like this, data protection and consistency are of paramount importance. FDCC helps the Department of the Treasury standardize its IT security, making it easier to manage and maintain the systems, decreasing the risks associated with varied configurations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC)?A: The Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) is a standardized configuration for Windows desktop-computer operating systems, designed to meet specific requirements for the federal government. It aims to make computers safer, secure, and cost-effective for federal organizations.Q: Why was the FDCC created?A: FDCC was created to tackle the issue of inconsistent system configurations across federal agencies that often led to unnecessary vulnerabilities, higher maintenance costs, and reduced efficiencies.Q: Who oversees the Federal Desktop Core Configuration?A: The FDCC is overseen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).Q: What are the major benefits of FDCC?A: FDCC offers major benefits involving enhanced system security, increased cost-effectiveness, and improved system interoperability across different federal agencies.Q: Does the FDCC apply to all federal government desktops?A: Yes, FDCC applies to all Windows-based desktop and laptop systems that are owned by and operated by the federal government, unless an official waiver has been granted.Q: Which organizations are required to use FDCC?A: All federal agencies are required to use FDCC. Even contractors and other organizations who use federal data or connect to federal networks may be obliged to use FDCC standards.Q: What operating systems are covered under FDCC?A: FDCC is specific to Microsoft Windows operating systems. As of now, it covers Windows Vista and Windows XP.Q: How does FDCC impact software vendors and developers?A: Software vendors and developers who provide products or services to federal agencies must ensure that their software is compatible with the settings and configurations within FDCC. Q: Where can I find more information about FDCC?A: Additional information about FDCC can be found on the official NIST website.Q: How often are FDCC configurations updated?A: The frequency of updates varies and depends on factors like newly discovered security vulnerabilities, software patches, and more. Government agencies are often advised regarding when to test and implement new configurations.

Related Finance Terms

  • Security Configuration
  • Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)
  • United States Government Configuration Baseline (USGCB)
  • System Hardening
  • Software Compliance

Sources for More Information


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