Government to certify security kit

Security products could soon gain a stamp of assurance from the government

The government has started to test the effectiveness of commercial IT security products.

A sub-division of the Cabinet Office, called the Central Sponsor for Information Assurance Group (CSIA), is leading the scheme to certify security products and services that could be bought by the public sector.

"The CSIA accreditation is aimed at government and even home users," said Simon Milford, business development manager for LogicaCMG, who are providing testing labs for CSIA. "There has been talk about going to PC World and being able to see that security devices have been accredited."

The scheme is still in its infancy, but CSIA, which is prioritising tests for the National Health Service and local authorities, plans to launch a full kite-mark accreditation scheme in June.

Vendors who wish to gain the CSIA Claims Tested (CCT) accreditation mark will have to pay between £10,000 and £20,000 per product and wait 20 days for testing to complete, CSIA confirmed on Thursday.

The CCT is said to be faster to obtain than other standards, such as the Common Criteria benchmark. Milford said it was harder for vendors to obtain this as it was more expensive.

"This [the CSIA accreditation] provides low assurance testing," he added.

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