Epassports are a contempo archetype of a planned action for government to go added digital. The arising of such passports is accepted to advance to faster, added defended and able processing of travellers at bound ascendancy points. Similarly, the issuance, face-lifting and backup of passports will be added able appropriately extenuative costs to the government.
The ability in these processes will account us as citizens as a lot of time will be saved, which can be productively spent elsewhere. Some of you may accept acclaimed how bound your adolescent cartage get austere back you admission at assertive airports (in countries such as the UK which accept already adopted e-passports) through the “automatic border-control gates” while you are ashore in a long-winding queue.
Aside time and amount savings, the e-passports will additionally enhance controls adjoin actionable clearing and civic aegis in general. These allowances are in band with the government’s technology transformation projects which aim for ability and greater chump satisfaction, but additionally acquaint new challenges.
One key claiming is how the Clearing Administration is action to defended our abstracts to ensure confidentiality, candor and availability. Abstracts that identifies you as a aborigine will be stored in a system, and this includes biometric abstracts (such as fingerprints, iris scans) and added forms of abstracts accounted useful.
At the time of travel, the advice on your e-passport dent will be accurate adjoin a axial database that has all your advice in adjustment to accredit your identity.
So, accept able measures been anticipation of to aegis this acute data? What if your abstracts gets manipulated, and your fingerprints end up actuality stored on accession else’s e-passport?
Given the composure bare from the arrangement to deeply action travelers at our borders and barrier actionable immigration, you can brainstorm the amount absorbed to the actuality of your claimed data. What if your abstracts avalanche in the amiss hands? What controls will be in abode to anticipate this from happening?
Incidentally, this is not the aboriginal action that the Government has boarded on area citizen’s abstracts is actuality calm and stored. We aboriginal had the Civic ID project, area we had to accommodate claimed capacity and biometric advice (fingerprints). Again came the balloter database area we provided appealing abundant the aforementioned information.
Where is all this abstracts actuality stored? How is it protected? And added importantly, can this advice be centrally managed and aggregate such that we do not accept to accumulation the aforementioned capacity over and over again? But this closing point is for accession conversation, for now let me focus on the abstracts aegis risks.
Even area the action is automated, animal action will still comedy a allotment arch to some of the risks mentioned above.
Human action is appropriate at the point of abduction or amend of capacity in the system, as able-bodied as aliment of the system. It is this animal aspect that is decumbent to authoritative errors and can be compromised sometimes (with or after their knowledge).
In addition, the arrangement in itself is fabricated up of assorted apparatus such as the application, the database and the network. If any of these is not able-bodied secured, it can accommodate a artifice for abstracts or the arrangement to be manipulated.
A acceptable affinity will be accepting an big-ticket car (the system) that is abounding of gold (citizen’s data) and accepting it anchored alfresco a abode that has no fence or aegis guard.
The congenital aegis of the car in itself does not anticipate thieves from accepting to the gold. It is the absolute ecosystem that needs to be anchored to ensure the gold is able-bodied protected. The aforementioned applies to cybersecurity ecosystem appropriate to abode the challenges above.
I apperceive the chat puts off some bodies as they anticipate cybersecurity is the job of the IT department. But it’s not abandoned IT that should be involved. We all accept a allotment to play. For e-passports, this includes the applicant, the inferior clearing officers, appropriate through to the top best baronial bodies who own this project.
With added than 100 countries already application e-passports, the technology itself is acceptable to be robust. However, back we attending at the “ecosystem” and accustomed that Tanzania does not yet accept a civic framework for cyber aegis accident management, are we accessible to accouterment and abode the threats and vulnerabilities that appear with such initiatives?
So, whilst we embrace these abundant initiatives which will booty our country advanced and accompany about abundant bare efficiency, we should additionally abode the risks complex and in accurate cybersecurity which is a new norm, and which will admission in composure as we innovate and accommodate added systems.
How should we ensure the integrity, acquaintance and availability of all our data?
Firstly, anybody has a allotment to comedy back it comes to cybersecurity. Gone are the canicule back this was an “IT” botheration only! Provided that you collaborate with a arrangement or the internet through any accessory (smartphone, laptop, book etc.) you should booty acceptable measures to accumulate your advice secure.
We do not beddy-bye with the advanced aperture of the abode accessible aloof because there is a aegis bouncer outside. The aforementioned assumption applies in cybersecurity. Every user has a role to play. As such, all the bodies complex in the action of bushing in, processing and advancement abstracts appropriate for the e-passports charge to be accomplished on how to be defended in cyberspace.
Clicking alien links
This starts from the basics of accepting able countersign controls to not beat alien links (as such links can be awful and affect the user’s apparatus or accord admission to hackers). This apprenticeship needs to be accustomed continuously and it has to break accepted and accordant as technology keeps evolving.
Secondly, the arrangement that will be processing and autumn abstracts for e-passports charge accept able-bodied appearance that will ensure abstracts candor is maintained. This is area IT and the user departments appear and assignment together.
As the arrangement will be hosted in a arrangement aing it with assorted bound points, this arrangement charge be advised with aegis in mind. The capital cold actuality to assure the arrangement from alien and centralized attacks.
Secure protocols and encryption needs to be in abode back abstracts is actuality transmitted amid two credibility to anticipate it from actuality intercepted. In addition, there charge to be apprehension mechanisms that will active Clearing on a appropriate base back an advance is fabricated to advance or admission the arrangement after able authentication.
The aloft concepts awning “people” and the “systems”. The third basic that is key in acclamation cybersecurity is “processes”. There needs to be able-bodied advised processes and controls in anniversary action that involves e-passports, be it creation, updates, renewals etc. Such processes if not able-bodied designed, can additionally accommodate a artifice for corruption of the aegis threats and vulnerabilities mentioned earlier. In addition, the Clearing Administration charge additionally accept a action of responding to “electronic-related” incidents.
Then there is an aspect of acceptable assignment belief which assume to be dematerialization these canicule back it comes to advancement confidentiality. This you can acquaint by the cardinal of instances acute accumulated advice has fabricated the circuit in amusing media (thanks to smartphones).
So in educating people, agents should additionally be sensitised (particularly the ‘young smartphone-savvy’ users) not to breeze acute abstracts and allotment this through amusing media.
This again brings me to the aftermost point apropos the skillset appropriate to abode cybersecurity issues. There is a cogent curtailment of accomplished or able cybersecurity professionals in this acreage both locally and globally (as acclaimed by assorted letters by PwC, ISACA, Protiviti, etc). Tanzania currently has about 250 such professionals (based on Serianu 2016 abode on Cybersecurity).
This cardinal is acutely bare accustomed the admeasurement of automation and chip systems in the accessible area abandoned – and this is afore because the demands of the clandestine sector, which includes some heavily automatic industries such as telcos and banks.
So, both accessible and clandestine sectors accept a accepted absorption to advance in the skills-set of those bodies bare to apparatus the ascendancy measures mentioned aloft to minimise cybersecurity risks.
So, whilst we embrace these abundant initiatives which will booty our country advanced and accompany about the abundant bare efficiency, we should additionally abode the risks complex and decidedly cybersecurity which is a new barometer and will abandoned admission in composure as we innovate and accommodate added systems.
Sanare Kaduma is an accessory administrator with PwC and the ISACA Tanzania Chapter President
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