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1.2. What is a Common Criteria Compliant System?
The Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation, usually known as Common Criteria or CC, is an internationally-recognized standard (ISO/IEC 15408) used as the basis for independent evaluation of the security properties of an IT product.
Common Criteria provide consumers with an impartial security assurance of a product to predefined levels. These levels range from EAL1 to EAL7, each placing increased demands on the developer for evidence of testing, in turn providing increased assurance within the product for consumers.
Under the Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement (CCRA), members agree to recognize Common Criteria certificates that have been produced by any certificate authorizing participant, in accordance with the terms laid out in the CCRA. Currently, the CCRA is comprised of 22 member nations: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. New members are expected to join in the near future.
A system can be considered to be CC compliant if it matches an evaluated and certified configuration. This implies various requirements concerning hardware and software, as well as requirements concerning the operating environment, users, and the ongoing operating procedures.
You can find further information on Common Criteria at http://www.commoncriteria.org.