France’s National Information Systems Security Agency (Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information - ANSSI) has issued its first Security Visas to eligible French businesses. The goal of this ANSSI initiative is to reward and showcase French companies from various sectors who have implemented reliable digital security systems recognised by the agency through its certification and qualification processes.
The ANSSI is the French government agency responsible for the security and defence of the information systems of the state and of companies classed as Operators of Vital Importance (OVI). It reports directly to the General Secretariat for Defence and National Security.
As part of its duties, it has developed an entire cybersecurity certification and qualification process for French companies, making it possible to check the robustness of operators in the French digital ecosystem.
What is the Security Visa?
One of the major strategic and economic challenges of the years ahead lies in information system security and data protection. The GDPR has established the first European framework on the management of personal data.
In the face of growing digital risks, the ANSSI has deemed it essential to establish testing and verification processes to identify the most reliable cybersecurity companies. These tests are performed by accredited laboratories using a stringent and proven methodology.
The Security Visa is a mark created by the ANSSI that can be used by any product supplier or service provider who already holds an ANSSI certification or qualification.
Goals of the Security Visa
The ANSSI Security Visa enables certified and/or qualified companies to communicate about their skills in information system security. The Visa is a major mark of credibility and thus a considerable asset for the competitiveness of these companies. It gives them an undoubted competitive advantage against other French and international players, which they can talk about in their communication materials.
On the user side, it makes it easy to identify the French companies that offer robust cybersecurity solutions. This Visa therefore enables companies to choose their service providers based on objective robustness and security criteria, guaranteed by the leading government agency in this field.
What about qualification?
Qualification constitutes an additional level of recognition of a cybersecurity product or service.
Certified products and services have been tried and tested by the ANSSI. Qualified products and services have been tried and tested by the ANSSI and are recommended by the state. Yousign, an expert in electronic signature, is a qualified service provider.
For users, qualifications offers a guarantee that the solutions they use are not only recommended by the state, but also used by French government authorities, “Operators of Vital Importance” and companies in sensitive sectors.
For suppliers, qualification provides access to regulated French and European markets. Public procurement contracts can now be signed electronically using a “qualified” digital certificate (French Order of 12 April 2018 on electronic signature in public procurement).
How can you find an ANSSI-certified service provider?
The ANSSI has introduced various tools to support companies in their search for certified or qualified service providers and to help them better understand the qualification and certification processes in place.
Catalogue of qualified services
Downloadable for free from the ANSSI website, this catalogue lists all the qualified product suppliers and service providers who are recommended by the state and who thus hold the Security Visa. It makes it easy to find the companies recommended by the state based on the type of qualification they have.
Brochures on security certification and qualification
These two brochures, also available on the ANSSI website, explain the product security certification and solution qualification processes. They will enable you to better understand the tests and verifications performed by the accredited centres to check the information system security of eligible companies.
These brochures will also enable companies who wish to obtain the Security Visa to find out about the procedures to follow become certified or qualified.
ANSSI Security Visa mobile app
Currently available on Google Play, and coming soon on Apple Store, the “Visa de sécurité ANSSI” app offers a simple and intuitive way of finding the same information available in the brochures, with all the details of the Security Visa, what it entails and how it is issued.
Users can easily find a qualified service provider to meet their needs. Security product suppliers and service providers, meanwhile, can find out about the conditions for obtaining the Visa and the type of Visa that concerns their business.