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The EU cybersecurity certification framework

The EU cybersecurity certification framework for ICT products enables the creation of tailored and risk-based EU certification schemes.

© iStock by Getty Images -1159281243 Wojtek Skora

Certification plays a crucial role in increasing trust and security in important products and services for the digital world. 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 between Member States.

The certification framework will provide EU-wide certification schemes as a comprehensive set of rules, technical requirements, standards and procedures. The framework will be based on agreement at EU level on the evaluation of the security properties of a specific ICT-based product or service. It will attest that ICT products and services that have been certified in accordance with such a scheme comply with specified requirements.

In particular, each European scheme should specify:

  • the categories of products and services covered;
  • the cybersecurity requirements, such as standards or technical specifications;
  • the type of evaluation, such as self-assessment or third party;
  • the intended level of assurance.

The assurance levels are used to inform users of the cybersecurity risk of a product, and can be basic, substantial, and/or high. They are commensurate with the level of risk associated with the intended use of the product, service or process, in terms of probability and impact of an accident. A high assurance level would mean that the certified product 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 in 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.

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