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The National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) is the U.S. government organization that works in parallel to similar organizations in a dozen other countries around the world, which have endorsed the international security-evaluation regimen known as the "Common Criteria." It was originally a joint effort between the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and now is operated by the NSA.
The program requires vendors to submit software for review in an accredited lab, a process that often takes a year and costs several thousand dollars. The review previously was limited to military national security software, however, the program later was extended to civilian agencies as well.