Public Data at Risk: Cyber Threat to the Networked Government

Public Data at Risk: Cyber Threat to the Networked Government

Being a networked government can offer tremendous opportunity for governments globally to connect with their citizens, productively collect and use information, as well as streamline and enhance the efficiency of internal work streams and processes. However, this can open up the Government to severe threats to national security, infrastructure, data, and international diplomacy. Addressing and mitigating these threats are essential to constructing a robust and resilient cyber security strategy.

This paper aims to provide a non-technical explanatory framework by which public officers other than the technically-trained officers can understand and discuss the issues together. These should include (but not be limited to) public officials from the communications, procurement, finance departments etc. This paper should also be used as a tool by the CTO/CIO to garner more broad-based support across the various government agencies for a whole-of-government approach to cyber security.

This report begins by reviewing the high government dependence on IT, the key information stored and managed by governments, and where government IT spend goes to. It then outlines the types of cyber threats governments are facing today, and concludes with a roadmap to creating a cyber security policy, offering a practical checklist by which governments can assess their institutional cyber security robustness.

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