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Towards secure digital communication across networks

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Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Services

What is this action about?

With an ever-increasing volume of information being exchanged electronically, security has become a priority for many network users. The use of new technologies implies that security aspects must be broadened and deepened to cover new risks.

To permit the electronic exchange of sensitive information in a secure and reliable manner, allowing users to identify precisely who is sending and receiving information, a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) has been developed under the European Commission’s IDA and IDABC programmes – the predecessors of ISA. Under the ISA programme the PKI services will be further developed.

PKI provides a framework comprising software and a set of rules, policies and standards for secure communication and transactions between organisations and individuals.

The security keys are used for Closed User Groups (CUGs) to protect the information being exchanged. It allows users to make messages unreadable by everyone except the sender and recipient by using complex passwords called keys, as well as digital certificates that confirm the sender’s and receiver’s identities.

What are the objectives?

Providing application-layer security to allow trusted exchange of information between Member State competent authorities and the European Institutions by using PKI certificates from a single source.

What are the benefits?

Benefit
  • Ability to use PKI services for the increased security of data exchange.
Beneficiaries
  • EU Institutions and agencies
  • Relevant national competent authorities or agencies

What is our approach?

Under this action a PKI infrastructure will be put in place that can, among other functions, run Closed User Groups (CUGs) both connected to the Internet and to sTESTA, and issue TLS/SSL server certificates. The PKI infrastructure will operate in the framework of ISA and replace the infrastructure built under IDA and IDABC for this purpose.

Project core data
  • Project start/finish:
    Q3/2010 to Q2/2014
  • Parties involved: European Commission (DG Informatics, DG Agriculture, DG Budget, DG Competition, DG Economics and Finance, ECHO - Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection, DG Employment, DG Justice, DG Trade, DG Taxation & Customs Union)
  • ISA contribution: EUR 340 000

Contact the Programme Manager - ISA Action 20300

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