SAFE Identity Launches Public Qualified Products List to Provide Secure, Lab-tested Identity Products to Healthcare Organizations

SAFE Identity Launches Public Qualified Products List to Provide Secure, Lab-tested Identity Products to Healthcare Organizations

June 9, 2021

5 Min Read


RESTON, Va., June 8, 2021 – SAFE Identity, an industry consortium and certification body supporting a standards-based, interoperable Trust Framework for digital identities, today announced the launch of the SAFE Identity Qualified Products List (QPL) program. The SAFE Identity QPL is the only public list that healthcare providers can use to find lab-tested identity related products and applications that support industry standards in PKI and cryptography. Testing ensures the products certified by SAFE correctly implement these standards to help healthcare organizations make more informed decisions about the products they buy. 

This news comes on the heels of the recently announced SAFE Identity Certificate Policy, an industry-consensus driven set of technical specifications, interoperability criteria, compliance guidelines and liability rules that govern the SAFE Identity Trust Framework. The Trust Framework ensures technical and legal interoperability of identity credentials, while the SAFE QPL lab tests for proper consumption of identity credentials by commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software products. 

In 2020, nearly one in five of the top 25 vulnerabilities published by MITRE cited weaknesses related to identity and authentication. These vulnerabilities often occur in the software itself and can only be discovered through testing or compromise. Furthermore, MITRE has reported improper certificate validation as one of the most common vulnerabilities for multiple years running. Use of PKI authentication mitigates the vast majority of authentication vulnerabilities listed in the top 25 most dangerous weaknesses, with the condition that software validates PKI certificates properly. The SAFE QPL lab’s mission is to ensure that condition is met for all certified products.

SAFE also developed, “Guidance for Procuring PDF Digital Signature Products,” which healthcare organizations can use to require SAFE QPL lab testing prior to acquiring software solutions in a straightforward and strategic way. Levying lab testing requirements in procurement language ensures that healthcare organizations acquire products that are secure, adhere to industry standards and foster interoperability with the SAFE ecosystem and all other products listed on the QPL. This procurement guidance will be free to use and can apply to a wide range of vendor products that support PKI and cryptography.

“Validating the cryptographic capabilities of software detracts from the primary goal of healthcare organizations: saving lives and keeping us all healthy. We designed the SAFE QPL to be used as a procurement tool that healthcare organizations can leverage to validate a product’s cryptographic capabilities, greatly alleviating the burden of carrying out evaluations and interoperability testing themselves,” said Kyle Neuman, managing director of SAFE Identity. “The QPL offers a comparative analysis of identity-related cryptographic products for healthcare that aims to support a variety of use cases including authentication, digital signatures, identity validation and encryption. Each product undergoes diverse and rigorous testing to ensure it meets SAFE’s testing criteria and adheres to industry standards. As a data point, the PDF digital signature specification contains over 250 different test cases to ensure no stone is left unturned, thereby delivering confidence that healthcare can count on.”

To help accelerate the adoption of competent cryptographic processing of digital identities, SAFE also established the PKI Validation Libraries QPL Category. This category may be used by product vendors to accelerate testing and certification by the QPL lab, or by healthcare organizations who are developing home-grown systems that process PKI, such as medical device manufacturers and EHRs. SAFE also created a developer resource site for PKI developers to use as a reference for supporting PKI in their applications.

Current certified product categories include PDF Digital Signature products, Crypto Libraries and SAFE Certified Credential Providers. PDF Digital Signature products on the list include eMudhra and PDFlib GmbH. Crypto Libraries on the list include Zeva, Inc. with others on the way. Credential issuers on the list are Trans SpedCarillon Information Security and IdenTrust.

SAFE Identity plans to expand the scope of products on the QPL to encompass several more identity-related product categories such as Single Sign-On Gateways, code signing services, registration authority (ID proofing) products, email security and certificate management systems and products relating to the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Vendors are also encouraged to meet requirements that enhance the user and administrator experience such as support for federated PKI. These optional testing criteria ensure products are more useful to healthcare organizations and encourage a higher standard of “better than good enough.”

The Qualified Products List is part of SAFE’s larger initiative to develop a culture of strong cryptography and identity in healthcare and life sciences in a way that furthers the goals of organizations across the sector.

SAFE Identity has developed a number of resources to help guide the industry towards digital trust, as well as give more insight into the services SAFE provides.

Additional Resources 

To learn more about how to rely on the QPL or get an identity product certified, visit the SAFE Identity website or contact us at [email protected].

About SAFE Identity 
SAFE Identity is an industry consortium and certification body that provides an ecosystem for identity assurance in the healthcare sector to enable trust, security and user convenience. It reduces risk and assures the integrity of identities and data in virtual clinical trials, medical devices and trusted data exchange in healthcare supply chains. 

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