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What is TISAX Certification? Everything You Need to Know

Aidan Simister
| Read Time 7 min read| Published On - March 2, 2023

TISAX Certification

What is TISAX Certification and Why was TISAX created?

Established in early 2017, TISAX Certification (Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange) is a globally recognized certification standard established by the German Association of the Automotive Industry, officially called the Verband der Automobilindustrie, or VDA for short.

It is a rigorous assessment and certification program that assesses the security of an organization’s IT infrastructure, processes, and systems. The goal of the certification is to ensure that the organization meets the highest security standards in order to protect its critical assets, data, and services.

Prior to TISAX, suppliers and other service providers were being asked to demonstrate that they were able to adequately safeguard the data they were being supplied with. However, this involved conducting separate assessments for each car manufacturer they dealt with if they wanted to continue receiving orders. What was needed was a standardized procedure and transparent exchange of assessment results between companies.

Why is TISAX Certification Important and why does it Differ from Other Cybersecurity Certifications?

In addition to providing better security and transparency, TISAX certification makes it easy for businesses to share their assessment results with their partners and suppliers via an online platform (the TISAX Exchange, or ENX). This helps companies save time and money as they don’t have to conduct assessments for each new company they work with. Giving companies the ability to easily demonstrate their commitment to security will help to build trust throughout the automotive industry, and companies willing to comply with TISAX will naturally have a competitive advantage over those who are not. This certification is essential for companies looking to do business in the German automotive industry.

TISAX is a certification specifically designed to address the automotive industry’s cybersecurity requirements. It goes beyond traditional security certifications by incorporating a comprehensive risk-based approach that evaluates and verifies the entire vehicle system, including hardware, software, and communication protocols. This certification also requires organizations to adhere to the VDA standard, a specific set of requirements for automotive components and system security. This includes developing and maintaining a cyber security management system for the entire system and requires regular testing and monitoring of the system. Additionally, TISAX requires organizations to demonstrate compliance with industry-wide standards and regulations, further ensuring the security of the system.

Who Needs TISAX Certification and How Much Does It Cost?

All organizations involved in business with major players in the German automotive industry need to obtain a TISAX certification. All automotive companies and service providers handling sensitive data should also obtain a TISAX certification. While certification is not a mandatory requirement, realistically, you won’t be able to work with any original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) without it.

The cost of TISAX certification depends on the size of your company and the scope of certification. The ENX Association (an organization consisting of automobile manufacturers, suppliers and four national automotive associations) requires a mandatory registration fee of approximately 500 euros per site. Additionally, there is a fee for the audit provider that must be taken into account and is dependent on the audit level, costing between 5,000 and 10,000 euros. Furthermore, there are operational costs associated with preparing for the audit, such as implementing, upgrading, or configuring an ISMS (Information Security Management System).

What are the TISAX Certification Requirements?

While a full explanation of the TISAX requirements is beyond the scope of this article, they are very similar to the ISO 27001 requirements, which include:

  • Implementing a secure information management system, including risk assessment and mitigation measures;
  • Demonstrating secure software development processes;
  • Adhering to information security best practices;
  • Demonstrating a secure IT infrastructure;
  • Establishing incident response and disaster recovery plans;
  • Implementing appropriate security processes and controls;
  • Regular security assessments and monitoring;
  • Complying with the applicable laws and regulations, such as the GDPR.

How Can Companies get TISAX Certified?

To become TISAX certified, companies must first complete an application process. The application requires detailed information about the company, such as the organization’s structure, processes, and technologies used. After submitting the application, the company must then undergo a comprehensive assessment by an independent auditor, who will review the company’s security measures and procedures. If the company is deemed compliant with the TISAX standards, it will be issued a TISAX certificate.

Common Challenges and Benefits with the TISAX Certification Process

Some of the challenges associated with the TISAX certification process include;

  • Understanding the requirements and scope of the certification process.
  • Ensuring that all applicable information is submitted in a timely manner.
  • Managing costs and having sufficient resources to meet the demands of the certification process.
  • Ensuring that the processes and procedures are regularly reviewed and improved.
  • Ensuring all relevant staff are aware of the certification requirements and are trained accordingly.
  • Keeping up to date with changes in the TISAX framework.
  • Demonstrating that the organization is capable of meeting the security requirements of the certification.
  • Proving that the organization has the necessary technical capabilities to support the standard.

The benefits of TISAX certification include increased trust and transparency in the automotive industry, improved security standards, better data protection, and recognition as a secure supplier. Additionally, the certification provides suppliers with a competitive advantage, as it shows that they are serious about data security and are committed to providing quality services and products.

How Does TISAX Compare to ISO 27001?

The ISA catalog of requirements for TISAX actually derives from the international industry standard ISO 27001. However, the two standards are entirely independent of one another, with regard to audits and certifications. ISO 27001 outlines general requirements for companies, while TISAX is specifically tailored for suppliers in the automotive industry. Companies must adhere to the requirements of ISO 27001 in order to be certified, and there is no public certification for conformity with TISAX. Additionally, companies cannot publicly advertise a successful audit on TISAX; only other participants can view the results. It is generally recommended that suppliers in the automotive industry comply with both standards.

How Can Lepide Help with TISAX Certification?

Data security platforms can remove a lot of the complexities surrounding compliance by providing visibility into user access rights, activity, and authorization, and provide automated compliance reports and real-time alerts when events occur that violate regulations.

The Lepide Data Security Platform will help you discover and classify your regulated data, which not only helps to locate it in a timely manner but also helps you identify over-exposed-data-and-assign the appropriate access controls to ensure that only the right people have access to it.

Lepide uses machine learning models to identify anomalous activity involving your regulated data and will send real-time alerts to your inbox or mobile device.

Auditors will ask you to demonstrate your compliance measures, which can be done effortlessly via the intuitive dashboard or reporting console, where you can generate pre-defined compliance reports at the push of a button.

Companies should consider getting certified with TISAX to demonstrate to their customers that their IT systems meet the highest security standards and that their data is secure. In addition, having a TISAX certification can also help companies gain an edge over competitors in the automotive industry.

If you’d like to see how the Lepide Data Security Platform can help you comply with TISAX, schedule a demo with one of our engineers or start your free trial today.

Aidan Simister
Aidan Simister

Having worked in the IT industry for a little over 22 years in various capacities, Aidan is a veteran in the field. Specifically, Aidan knows how to build global teams for security and compliance vendors, often from a standing start. After joining Lepide in 2015, Aidan has helped contribute to the accelerated growth in the US and European markets.

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