Business manager and IT specialist Yves Ephraim said that government needs to ensure that its planned digitisation of public records is sufficiently secured in order to prevent cyber attacks and theft of personal information.
Governor General Sir Rodney Williams announced during Thursday’s Throne Speech that the ruling administration would be digitising records in some of its departments, including the National Archives.
“In 2016, the digitisation of many government records and archive materials shall take place,” Sir Rodney said. “The Office of Intellectual Property and Commerce is expected to complete registration of a newly incorporated company in less than 24 hours.”
However, Ephraim said that the move could prove dangerous without the proper consideration of cyber security.
“The risk is that, as much as it provides a convenience for people, it also provides opportunity for nefarious characters to do reputational damage or even financial damage,” Ephraim said. “So therefore it means that there’s some responsibility on the part of whoever is delivering the service to ensure that … Security has to be paramount.”
Personal information is also inherently at risk for any member of the public who uses the Internet to register for government services, Ephraim said.
“You are going to have to give up personal information. For example, in the case of driver’s licences, there’s quite a bit of personal information that is saved in the Transport Board system. And if that information is passed back and forth through the Internet, then they need to make sure that they have measures in place to protect that.”
Ephraim also noticed that current websites maintained by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda are already unsecured, making the possibility of a security threat much more likely.
Read more in today’s Daily Observer.