Distribute confidential information securely – with a few

Distribute confidential information securely – with a few

Digital working brings a large number of advantages: sending content quickly, making decisions rapidly, straightforward collaboration and – very relevant these days – working in a contact-free way.

Previously, these advantages applied primarily to normal, non-classified information. Anyone who wanted to work digitally with sensitive data that required high-level security protection, or even with classified information (CI), had to seek out specially designed solutions which often did not have any approval and mostly still required paper-based documentation at some point in the workflow. It was SINA Workflow, the CI document management solution that secunet developed together with the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), that changed this. Authorities can now deploy SINA Workflow for CI in general up to the German GEHEIM (SECRET) classification level. Individual approvals are no longer required. Authorities in other countries can benefit from the solution as well.

In Germany, SINA Workflow allows implementing the German Classified Information Directive (Verschlusssachenanweisung, VSA). Information can be seamlessly processed, transferred and stored – at a suitably high and demonstrable security level, and without any media discontinuity. In June 2020, the solution received a release recommendation (“Freigabeempfehlung”) up to classification level GEHEIM (SECRET) from the BSI (BSI-VSA-10158). Customers can now deploy SINA Workflow without having to obtain individual approvals as they did previously.

Where SINA Workflow is implemented on the basis of SINA Workstations and taking the respective operating conditions (SecOps) into account, the solution protects CI and other highly sensitive data from creation to finalising.

SINA Workflow supports users in, for example, developing content collaboratively, implementing internal decision-making processes with multiple sign-offs, as well as distributing content securely in line with the “need to know” principle. All features and workflows offered by the solution are VSA-compliant, cryptographically secured and embedded in a comprehensive verification function – including a CI inventory as the VSA stipulates.

In conjunction with SINA Workstations, SINA Workflow also enables contactless working with CI. This allows classified documents to be transmitted without necessitating access to (physical) registries or commissioning couriers. The security classification of the overall solution depends on the respective SINA Workstation model chosen. SINA S Workstations are authorised up to VS-NfD/RESTRICTED levels; SINA E Workstations up to VS-VERTRAULICH/CONFIDENTIAL levels; and SINA H Workstations up to GEHEIM/SECRET levels.

Secure transfer to external parties as well

With the help of a “head end” model SINA Workflow can also enable the digital exchange of classified data across organisations, as well as facilitate collaborative working on content that crosses organisational boundaries. An organisation can thus send a copy of finalised classified documents to another organisation – entirely digitally, with verification procedures and adequate protection.

In the head end model, a SINA Workstation with SINA Workflow that is part of organisation A’s domain (i.e. the SINA infrastructure and SINA Workflow registry) can be positioned within organisation B. Employees from organisation B operate this SINA Workflow workstation. Where classified information from organisation A has been finalised and needs to be sent to organisation B, an authorised employee from A can offer a SINA Workflow user from organisation B (who in this case is managed as a user of organisation A’s domain) to take note of this information. Where the user from organisation B accepts this, the document is transmitted securely to the SINA Workstation in organisation B and can be read and, where necessary, worked on there.

In addition, the user from B also has the option to export the CI digitally and therefore to reuse it on other systems within organisation B. The verification procedure for SINA Workflow at organisation A shows when the employee at B took note of the information and whether – and, if so, when – a digital copy was generated for use outside of the SINA Workflow domain A.

As a whole, SINA Workflow makes the digital processing of CI in German administration far simpler, and the process of handling such information is speeded up considerably. Authorities in other countries can benefit from the solution as well: right from the start, SINA Workflow was developed with the goal of being an international product.

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