In the wake of the Wikileaks scandal, the UK Prime Minister’s national security adviser is reported to have written to departments, asking them to look again at their information security and provide him with assurances. It’s a bit late. Security is not an overnight fix.
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It would be more useful to review security and information management policy, architecture and standards, which have not kept pace with the explosive growth in threats, data and connectivity. Nor have they adequately addressed the growing concerns of citizens over data privacy.
Expectations should also be more realistic. Secrets can only be kept if shared with a tiny number of people, rather than several thousand analysts. Public sector correspondence should be written with the expectation that it will become public. Transparency is the best policy in an information age, where unnecessary secrets are a hostage to fortune, and trust is the key to security and wealth.