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Software Standards

Software, both throughout various industries and as an industry in itself, relies on standardization at its very core. From the very foundation of standardized hardware specifications and interfaces, up through programming languages and interoperability, as well as the simplicity of using software for the purpose and use case that it was intended for, software development and use is heavily driven by standardization.
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Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Standards start from the top, with an overview and vocabulary serving as a foundation upon which reference architecture, software asset management, and security techniques can be built upon. With the variety of technologies in play, and the evolving nature of cloud computing, a solid standardized foundation offers much-needed reliability.


Metadata is data about other data, and can provide information on the creation of data, its structure, referencences, and permissions for use.

Software Engineering

Software engineering standards approach the process from many directions, addressing documentation, life cycle management, assessment, and testing. Standards for Software product Quality Requirements and Evaluation (SQuaRE) and lifecycle profiles for Very Small Entities (VSEs) contribute to this collection, as does measurement, assurance, and a host of other considerations. Because software engineering is so often a collaborative effort, worked on by multiple people, if not multiple teams, standardization is an important part of assuring cohesion during the process and quality in the output.

Encryption and Cryptography Standards

Encryption and cryptography standards address a range of algorithms and applications, as well as a host of related security considerations that factor into successful implementation. Topics are divided below for ease of locating the standard you are looking for, although in many cases the categories are interrelated in the way they would be implemented in practice. Similarly, our page for IT Security contains interrelated standards that would be used in conjunction.

IT Security

IT Security Standards cover the design, implementation, and testing of cybersecurity and related pursuits in a modern setting. With network security a concern for many an organization and the design, management, and evaluation of those systems going hand in hand, a standardized approach in the security techniques involved promotes interoperability between systems and reliability in the end product. Also included are standards for topics such as entity authentication and privacy considerations, which often come into play in IT security implementations.

For more related standards, check out encryption and cryptography standards.

Industry Specific Encryption

Following from the value we collectively place on our financial and personal information, these industries have standards specific to their field. With encryption an almost intrinsic part of the functioning of both of these industries, and each one dependent on many companies working together to achieve a functioning industry, standardization becomes incredibly important. For the telecommunications industry, ETSI has published many documents regarding the management of encryption algorithms. Similarly, X9 has published many documents addressing encryption in the financial services industry.

Data Compression

Data compression standards revolve around the applicability and use of various algorithms for lossy and lossless data compression. With modern technology providing ever more information, such as higher quality image data, video recording, and so forth, data compression must be sufficiently advanced to manage this amount of information. Following that, interoperability points toward standardization for widespread data compression techniques and methods. Chief among other benefits, data compressions touts a "reduction of transmission channel bandwidth; reduction of the buffering and storage requirement; reduction of data-transmission time at a given rate."

Medical Device Software

Medical device software standards address the development of and risk management for the intersection between medical devices and software that is an embedded or integral part of the final medical device. Essentially, with both medical devices and software individually greatly benefiting from standardization, the benefits are further compounded when development of both is part of a single project.

Programming and Technology Languages

Computer programming and coding are becoming more lucrative skills as communication and security is developed alongside technology. This category contains many other sections related to coding and program languages.


Blockchain is a digital decentralized ledger of records called blocks that are linked together using cryptography. Blockchain ledgers are often used to act as a public transaction ledger for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. These standards cover a variety of topics regarding decentralized digital ledgers including formatting, terminology, validation of data, risk assessment, and the other applications of blockchain outside of cryptocurrency.


Cryptocurrency is binary data that serves as a digital currency in the place of traditional cash currencies. There are many different types of traded crytocurrencies, the most notable of which inclue Bitcoin and Ethereum. Cryptocurrency standards cover a range of topics related to the technical and legal requirements of crptocurrency exchanges, custodian frameworks, transaction processes, and its relationship with blockchain technology.


As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.