Communications Security (COMSEC)

Communications Security (COMSEC) Stream

Specialized Courses

Overview

The Communications Security (COMSEC) curriculum offers Government of Canada (GC) personnel an introduction to this subset of Information Technology Security (ITS). The protection of information transmitted by electrical means, and of certain electronic emissions associated with sensitive (classified or protected) information, involves the use of specialized technical, operational and physical security measures. The courses allow the participant to gain a good understanding of COMSEC as an ITS discipline, its associated equipment and reminds GC employees of the need for caution when processing sensitive information.

Requirements

GC employees are eligible for enrolment in any of the courses in the COMSEC stream.

Course-Related Materials

To provide a green learning environment the ITSLC will provide learners with an electronic copy of the course material. Should you prefer a hard copy of the handouts, they will be available in class.  Throughout the course you will have access to relevant references and may also be given handouts, references, glossaries, sample quiz and test questions in addition to other supplementary materials.

Please note, courses 205, 206, 230 and 681 have a mandatory final exam that learners must pass for official certification.

COMSEC Equipment – Other Related Training

Secure communications rely heavily on the sophistication and reliability of IT systems that store and use cryptographic keying material. A major factor in the successful utilization of the systems is human interaction with the equipment. To avoid the pitfalls associated with “trial-and-error” techniques, users should establish a basic foundation upon which to build expertise. These courses provide an introduction to current and emerging COMSEC-related systems.

Security Clearance Requirements

These courses are unclassified and no security clearance is required unless otherwise indicated below.

COMSEC Custodian Certification Program (CCCP)

This certification program combines existing courses into distinct pathways that will provide the necessary foundation to prepare candidates appointed as COMSEC Custodians. The CCCP pathways will be a mandatory requirement for all GC employees or industry personnel who are appointed to the position of COMSEC Custodian or Alternate COMSEC Custodian. For those who believe that they have the requisite training and/or experience that support the learning requirements in the 235 and 410 courses, they can apply for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) to the ITSLC.

The CCCP will consist of three similar but independent pathways that have been designed to consider COMSEC account composition; Manual (non-automated), DIAS and EKMS. They are broken down as follows:

Manual Account Pathway (4 days)

DIAS Account Pathway (5 days)

EKMS Account Pathway (9 days)

Each of the courses administers quizzes throughout and/or a final exam to satisfy knowledge retention. The final exam administered at the end of 230, 205 and 206 requires a passing grade to receive ITSLC certification.

The ITSLC will continue to offer the 235 and 410 as stand-alone courses for those who wish to enhance their COMSEC and Cryptography knowledge but have not been appointed to a COMSEC custodial position.  If you are already a qualified COMSEC custodian and you are currently performing the required custodial duties, you do not need to take the CCCP courses if you don’t want to.  You will still be a qualified custodian.

NOTE: DND is exempt from the mandatory provision of this program and will continue to provide COMSEC custodian training according to its own policy and schedule.
Although DND/CAF custodians may apply for the CCCP certification, or submit a request for PLAR in order to achieve our certification, there is no mandatory requirement for them to do so. DND people do attend some of our courses to enhance their understanding of ITS/COMSEC issues; but the courses are not prerequisites to DND COMSEC custodian qualification.

For additional information, contact the ITSLC via email at its-education@cse-cst.gc.ca or by phone at 613-991-7110.

COURSES

General

215 Fundamentals of Emission Security (EMSEC)

230 COMSEC Custodian

231 Controlling Authority (CA) [workshop]

235 COMSEC in the Government of Canada

410 Cryptographic Security in the Government of Canada

Software

205 Government of Canada Electronic Key Management System (EKMS) (Level II Security clearance)

206 Distributed INFOSEC Accounting System (DIAS)

Data At Rest Device

210 Eclypt

Tier 3 Management Devices (T3MD)

240 Data Transfer Device (DTD)

245 Secure DTD-2000 System (SDS)

275 Simple Key Loader (SKL)

Secure Communications Interoperability Protocol (SCIP) Products

250 Secure Terminal Equipment (STE)

255 OMNI

260 Sectéra Wireline Terminal (SWT)

265 Sectéra Secure Wireless Phone for GSM (SGSM)

Network Encryptor

281 TACLANE Micro Encryptor and GEM X

Workshop

845 SDS Workshop

870 VIPER Workshop

876 RSKL Workshop

881 GEM-X Workshop

E-learning Courses

631 Controlling Authority (CA) [e-Learning]

632 Departmental COMSEC Authority (DCA) [e-Learning]

680 Basic TACLANE (Protected A) [e-Learning]