Passwords need to be protected at all times, and encryption is the standard method for protecting passwords. If passwords are not encrypted, they can be plainly read (i.e., clear text) and easily compromised. Unapproved mechanisms that are used for authentication to the cryptographic module are not verified and therefore cannot be relied upon to provide confidentiality or integrity, and DoD data may be compromised. FIPS 140-2 is the current standard for validating that mechanisms used to access cryptographic modules utilize authentication that meets DoD requirements.
Configure RHEL 8 to encrypt all stored passwords. Edit/Modify the following line in the '/etc/login.defs' file and set '[ENCRYPT_METHOD]' to SHA512. ENCRYPT_METHOD SHA512