Levels of security

Federal government contracts contain clauses with security requirements. These requirements specify the levels of security needed to safeguard sensitive information, assets and work sites. Learn about the different levels of security for sensitive government information and assets, organizations and personnel.

Security levels for sensitive government information and assets

Protected
Applies to information or assets that, if compromised, could reasonably be expected to cause injury to a non-national interest—that is, an individual interest such as a person or an organization.
Protected A
Applies to information or assets that, if compromised, could cause injury to an individual, organization or government.
Protected B
Applies to information or assets that, if compromised, could cause serious injury to an individual, organization or government.
Protected C
Applies to information or assets that, if compromised, could cause extremely grave injury to an individual, organization or government.
Classified
Applies to information or assets that, if compromised, could reasonably be expected to cause injury to the national interest, defence and maintenance of the social, political and economic stability of Canada.
Confidential
Applies to information or assets that, if compromised, could cause injury to the national interest.
Secret
Applies to information or assets that, if compromised, could cause serious injury to the national interest.
Top Secret
Applies to information or assets that, if compromised, could cause exceptionally grave injury to the national interest.

Security levels for organizations

Designated organization screening (protected)
Allows an organization to send appropriately security screened personnel with a need-to-know to restricted work sites to access protected information and assets.
Facility security screening (classified)
Allows an organization to send appropriately security screened personnel with a need-to-know to restricted work sites to access protected and classified information and assets.

Additional security levels for organizations

The following organization screenings may be granted to organizations with a designated organization screening (DOS) or facility security screening (FSC).

Document safeguarding capability (DSC)
Authorizes an organization to store, handle and protect protected or classified information or assets at their work site(s).
Production capability
Authorizes an organization to manufacture, repair, modify and work on sensitive components or items at their site.
Shredding capability and bulk storage capability
Authorizes an organization to either a) destroy sensitive information or assets on b) their work site or store bulk information or assets on their work site.
Authority to process information technology
Authorizes an organization to process and transmit sensitive information electronically for a specific contract.
Physical security for information technology security, communications security (COMSEC) and information security (INFOSEC)
Authorizes organizations to transmit and receive sensitive information using COMSEC material—that is, items that are designed to secure or authenticate telecommunications information, such as a cryptographic key.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) clearances
The authorization to access NATO classified information for a specific contract. Some international contracts required NATO clearances are required for personnel and organizations.

Security levels for personnel

Reliability status (protected)
Required by an employee working on a sensitive government contract to access protected (A, B, and C) information and assets.
Security clearance (classified)
Required by an employee working on a sensitive government contract to access classified (Confidential, Secret, Top Secret) information and assets. Employees with security clearance may also access protected information.
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