Security Accreditation

Security is one of the core activities entrusted to the GSA by the European Commission pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EU) No 1285/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

In particular, the Agency is responsible for the security accreditation of the European GNSS systems. Within this role, the GSA is charged with verifying the compliance within the applicable security rules and regulations established by the Council and the European Commission. General principles for security accreditation, responsibilities and typical tasks are laid down in Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 under Chapter III, as amended by Regulation (EU) No 512/2014.

The Security Accreditation Board

An independent Security Accreditation Board (SAB) has been established within the GSA as one of the three official bodies of the Agency, together with the Administration Board and the Executive Director.

The SAB is the sole Security Accreditation Authority of the European GNSS systems and acts independently of the authorities in charge of the programmes, notably the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the rest of the GSA.

The SAB is composed of one representative per Member State, one representative from the Commission and one from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. A representative of the ESA is also invited to attend SAB meetings as an observer. In specific situations, representatives of third countries or international organisations may also be invited to attend meetings as observers.

The SAB chairperson is responsible for representing the GSA on security accreditation matters. The current chairperson is Mr Jeremy Blyth (UK), and the deputy chair is Mr Bruno Vermeire (BE).

SAB initiates and monitors the implementation of security requirements to verify a high, robust and uniform level of security for EU GNSS systems. To carry out its activities efficiently and effectively, the SAB has set up two appropriate subordinate bodies acting on its instructions:

  1. The Galileo Security Accreditation Panel (GSAP)
  2. A Crypto Distribution Authority (CDA).

Within the agency, technical security accreditation activities are entrusted to a Security Accreditation Team composed of professionals duly qualified in accrediting complex systems.

The SAB adopts its decisions on the basis of local decisions taken by the competent national security accreditation authorities, the verifications performed by the Security Accreditation Team and the reviews of the GSAP and CDA. These decisions entail:

  • Approval of the security accreditation strategy
  • Authorisation to launch satellites
  • Authorisation to operate the systems in different configurations and various services
  • Authorisation to operate the ground stations
  • Authorisation to manufacture receivers containing Public Regulated Service (PRS) technology and their components

SAB decisions are addressed to the European Commission.