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Electronic security

Because the purpose of the Electronic Office is to  “carry out all the actions, procedures and services that require the authentication of the Public Administration or of citizens by electronic means” (art.4.1 of Royal Decree 1671/2009, dated 6 November (BOE-A-2009-18358), which partially governs Law 11/2007, dated 22 June (BOE-A-2007-12352), on citizens' electronic access to public services), it is necessary to use electronic identification devices, in accordance with the critical nature of said procedures, particularly electronic signatures and digital certificates.

For this reason, here we provide you with the information you need to use them, in a concise form, and provide links to websites directly related to each particular point for further information on said point.

What is a Digital Certificate and what is it for?

According to Law 59/2003, dated 19 December (BOE-A-2003-23399), on Electronic Signatures, in Article 6: Concept of electronic certificate and signatory.

  1. An electronic certificate is a document signed electronically by a certification service provider which links certain signature verification data to a signatory and confirms his or her identity.
  2. The signatory is the person that has a signature-creating device and who acts on behalf of him or herself or on behalf of an individual or legal entity whom he or she represents.

This means that a digital certificate is the proof, from a certification authority such as FNMT, Verisign, etc., that the person presenting said certificate is really who they say they are. Once it has been installed into a citizen's browser it can be used automatically.

By the Public Administration

The list of digital certificates used is as follows:

  • Electronic Office, so that you can be sure you are really communicating with the office and not with another claiming to be said office.
  • Server of an application that you access to carry out a procedure. This is an automated mechanism between your computer (the browser you use) and that of the office
  • Time stamp, which guarantees that a procedure or a document is produced on the date and at the time it is carried out.
  • Administrative body or civil servant, which authenticates said body or individual when they sign a document or procedure electronically.

Ceres-Certificados digitales de la Administración Pública 

By citizens

The digital certificates used are: Ceres-Ciudadanos

  • for individuals, included in the list of electronic signature systems ( accepted or used in the office, including the eDNI (electronic DNI).
  • for legal entities

This enables you to identify yourself to the office via electronic means. This certificate is installed on your browser and is automatically given to the verification device of any application of the when required.

Using digital certificates, for authentication and signature, contained on your eDNI, you can prove your identity to the office. To do this you will need an electronic reader device which connects to your computer.

Security of information systems

To access the applications offered through this electronic office, permanent security mechanisms have been put in place to guarantee the authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of communications established between a citizen and the MINECO's electronic office (BOE-A-2014-1181), through the use of the Secure Sockets Layer Protocol (SSL). Firewall systems are in place which analyse the information coming in to check that it is not potentially harmful and they then forward it to the appropriate destination.

In order to guarantee high availability, the IT and telecommunications systems supported by the MINECO's electronic office are equipped with devices that ensure high availability and also interoperability with the information systems of the other Public Administrations (BOE-A-2010-1331).

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