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OECD updates network security guidelines

Common sense, basically

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The Organisation For Economic Co-Operation And Development (OECD) this week released a set of guidelines for information security aimed at creating a "culture of security" among government and business in the wake of last year's September 11 attacks.

It's the first time in ten years that the 30-nation inter-government group has updated its principles on security. Recognising the influence the Internet has had on security over that time, the OECD has drawn up a nine-point programme designed to guard against such risks as cyberterrorism, computer viruses, hacking and other threats.

That might sound quiet dramatic but the OECD recommendations are non-contentious, advocating such basic tenants as regular risk assessments, respects for the rights of others and the like. Altogether it's about as controversial as being in favour of Mom's apple pie and regular showers.

Here's the list in full:


  1. Awareness: Participants should be aware of the need for security of information systems and networks and what they can do to enhance security.
  2. Responsibility: All participants are responsible for the security of information systems and networks.
  3. Response: Participants should act in a timely and co-operative manner to prevent, detect and respond to security incidents.
  4. Ethics: Participants should respect the legitimate interests of others.
  5. Democracy: The security of information systems and networks should be compatible with essential values of a democratic society.
  6. Risk assessment: Participants should conduct risk assessments.
  7. Security design and implementation: Participants should incorporate security as an essential element of information systems and networks.
  8. Security management: Participants should adopt a comprehensive approach to security management.
  9. Reassessment: Participants should review and reassess the security of information systems and networks, and make appropriate modifications to security policies, practices, measures and procedures.


Although the Guidelines are non-binding, its hoped OECD governments and other participants will draw on them in establishing policies, measures and training programmes for online security. Governments in other countries are been invited to adopt a similar approach. ®

External Links

OECD Governments Launch Drive to Improve Security of Online Networks

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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