Certification plays a critical role in increasing trust and security in products and services that are crucial for the Digital Single Market. At the moment, a number of different security certification schemes for ICT products exist in the EU. But, without a common framework for EU-wide valid cybersecurity certificates, there is an increasing risk of fragmentation and barriers in the European Single Market.
The certification framework will provide EU-wide certification schemes as a comprehensive set of rules, technical requirements, standards and procedures. This will be based on agreement at EU level for the evaluation of the security properties of a specific ICT-based product or service e.g. smart cards. It will attest that ICT products and services which have been certified in accordance with such a scheme comply with specified requirements. In particular, each European scheme should specify: a) the categories of products and services covered, b) the cybersecurity requirements, for example by reference to standards or technical specifications, c) the type of evaluation (e.g. self-assessment or third party evaluation), and d) the intended level of assurance (e.g. basic, substantial and/or high).
To express the cybersecurity risk, a certificate may refer to three assurance levels (basic, substantial, high) that are commensurate with the level of the risk associated with the intended use of the product, service or process, in terms of the probability and impact of an incident. For example, a high assurance level means that the product that was certified has passed the highest security tests. The resulting certificate will be recognised in all EU Member States, making it easier for businesses to trade across borders and for purchasers to understand the security features of the product or service.
As for the implementation of the certification framework, Member State authorities, gathered in the European Cybersecurity Certification Group (ECCG) have already met several times.
Stakeholder Cybersecurity Certification Group
Following the entry into force of the Cybersecurity Act on 27 June 2019, the European Commission launched a call for applications to select members of the Stakeholder Cybersecurity Certification Group (SCCG).
The SCCG will be responsible for advising the Commission and ENISA on strategic issues regarding cybersecurity certification, and assisting the Commission in the preparation of the Union rolling work programme. This is the first stakeholder expert group for cybersecurity certification launched by the European Commission.