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Solved: How do I fix Non-FIPS FortiSwitches offline when managed by FortiGate configured in FIPS-CC mode

This article describes how a FortiSwitch that does not support FIPS can be managed by a FortiGate in FIPS mode.


FortiGate in FIPS mode and FortiSwitch in non-FIPS mode.


FortiGate in FIPS-CC mode impose restrictions in different settings, especially related to supported algorithms for secure communication channels.

Not all FortiSwitch models support FIPS mode, and even the models that do support, may not be operating with FIPS mode enabled.
When FIPS mode is enabled in a FortiGate, the below setting is enabled by default.

# config switch-controller global
set fips-enforce enable

If the FortiSwitch does not support FIPS or it is not configured for FIPS, it will show offline in FortiGate after authorizing it.

To resolve the issue, the following setting needs to be disabled so the negotiation of CAPWAP tunnel happens without any issue.

# config switch-controller global
set fips-enforce disable

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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