In addition to its service provision, the GSA is also responsible for ensuring that Europe’s GNSS signals are secure. Within this function, the GSA is undertaking security accreditation of the complete Galileo system, its operations and services – including the Galileo Open Service, Commercial Service and Public Regulated Service (PRS).
All security-related work is overseen by the independent Security Accreditation Board (SAB). The SAB is hosted by the GSA, and assesses the robustness and resilience of both Galileo and EGNOS and all the services they offer. It is comprised of security experts from each EU Member State.
As a result of this focus on security, the GSA is increasing end-user confidence that European GNSS services are available in a secure, resilient and reliable manner.
Galileo Security Monitoring Centre
The Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC), which is based in France and Spain, monitors and takes action regarding security threats, security alerts and the operational status of the Galileo system’s components. The GSMC is also responsible for managing access to the Public Regulated Service (PRS) and ensures that sensitive information relating to the use of the PRS is properly managed and protected. The Centre also provides PRS and Galileo security expertise and analysis.
In the event of a security threat to the European Union or to a Member State arising from the operation or use of the system, or in the event of a threat to the operation of the system itself, the Council shall issue instructions to the GSA, and the GSMC is responsible for implementing these instructions.
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.
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 European Space Agency (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 chairperson of the SAB is responsible for representing the GSA on security accreditation matters. The current chairperson is Bruno Vermeire (BE).
The SAB initiates and monitors the implementation of security requirements to ensure a high, robust and uniform level of security for EU GNSS systems. To assist it in this mission, the SAB has set up two subordinate bodies acting on its instructions: the Galileo Security Accreditation Panel (GSAP) and the Crypto Distribution Authority (CDA). Within the GSA, the technical security accreditation activities supporting the SAB are entrusted to a dedicated Security Accreditation Department directly reporting to the SAB chairperson.
The SAB adopts its decisions based on local decisions taken by the competent national security accreditation authorities, the verifications performed by the Security Accreditation Department and the reviews of the GSAP and CDA. These decisions include:
- 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.