Feeds

EC report warns governments on e-trust

'What trust?' asks IT security firm

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

An EC-funded report has found that governments across Europe need to address the issue of trust in technology systems used by public authorities and warns that high-tech ID cards are not a panacea.

ECOTEC Research and Consulting, in association with the Tavistock Institute, carried out the research on behalf of the Commission's eGovernment unit.

It said trust and security should go hand-in-hand, and that in order for governments to achieve the right balance, a "clear pact" needed to be established with citizens.

The paper argues that such transparency would foster a better relationship with citizens that in turn could improve trust among those individuals who have expressed concern over how their data is stored.

In the wake of the hugely embarrassing security lapse at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) where details of some 25 million child benefit recipients have been lost, Frank Wilson - author of the report - said that the findings offered a timely insight.

He also highlighted what he considered to be a number of critical issues associated with the technology systems used by government. He said:

"There is a risk that even electronic ID cards can potentially be misused. As a result, verification in critical applications should combine card 'possession' with declaration of hard-to-copy information held by the person themselves; knowledge not encoded on the card; or with information that is intrinsically tied to each individual – such as biometric data."

Echoing the findings of the report, IT security firm Sophos said that, given the scale of the HMRC debacle, trust over the government's handling of sensitive data had hit rock bottom.

It said that of 241 members of the public polled, 85 per cent believed that their local authority's IT systems had probably already been hit by a security breach. Almost a third of users believed the public sector was doing a worse job than the corporate world when it came to protecting eGovernment data.

The Sophos survey also revealed that 57 per cent believed that local authorities were not doing enough to prevent security breaches, while 93 per cent said they wanted to know what steps government departments were taking to defend the public against cybercrime. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.