Security Certificates

EASEE-gas security certificates - the single source for trusted electronic communication in the gas business

What is a security certificate?

A security certificate is a digital credential that validates the identity of the certificate's owner, similar to what a passport does.
A trusted party, called a Certificate Authority (CA) issues digital certificates to companies and individuals. A security certificate has a chosen expiry date and is signed by a certificate which has a higher trust. Because trust is the keyword for certificates, the administrative procedure ensures an adequate level of trust.

Every digital certificate has a pair of associated cryptographic keys, which consist of a private key and a public key. The public key is part of the certificate itself, while the certificate owner stores the private key in a secure file, EASEE-gas nor the CA will keep a copy of the private key. The owner of a certificate can use these keys to take advantage of the security features that the keys provide through cryptography. In EASEE-gas’ case, the certificate's owner uses these keys to sign and encrypt messages sent between AS2/AS4servers, thus ensuring the reliability of a message’s origin and protecting the integrity and privacy of the message. 

EASEE-gas security certificates

EASEE-gas decided to use the AS2/AS4 protocol over public Internet to exchange EDIG@S messages. The internet is an extremely vulnerable platform which led EASEE-gas to look for tools to protect all the business information exchanged via the Internet. EASEE-gas as an organisation realized that this issue was affecting its members and could very negatively impact the whole European gas market. EASEE-gas hence decided to act as a single certificate provider as a service to its members. The fact that digital security certificates must be issued by an independent certificate provider, could lead to the existence of a variety of certificate providers which would thus require a substantial maintenance effort by the companies. With this in mind, EASEE-gas's leadership decided to become the single source for trusted digital certificates for electronic communication in the gas business.

What is the added value of obtaining an EASEE-gas security certificate?

It is clear that digital certificates are a crucial part of electronic B2B (Business to Business) communication. If every single party were to use its own certificates, every organisation would end up with an unmanageable situation where each party would have to deal with certificates from different origins, different expiry dates and different levels of trust. To avoid this, EASEE-gas provides a single source for trusted digital certificates for electronic communication in the gas business. In addition, using one brand of certificates considerably reduces the costs in the operational environment.

This Process Flow Diagrams provides more information about EASEE-gas Security Certificates.

How to obtain an EASEE-gas security certificate?

The EASEE-gas certificates are issued using the Trust Link Enterprise (TLE) platform from QuoVadis. QuoVadis is a leading Trust Provider with flexible and specific solutions for branches. A Trust Provider is an independent trusted organization.

EASEE-gas security certificates are only available to the members of the association. In case you are already a member of the association, you will need to follow this procedure to obtain your digital certificate.