The government last week launched its national information assurance strategy (NIAS), which aims to give citizens, businesses and government full confidence in the way the public and private sector collects, uses and shares information.
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"The strategy now provides a single framework for information assurance for the whole of the UK," the document says.
Government officials expect the NIAS to change the way government does business both internally and externally. This will also affect private and third-sector organisations.
"This means effecting a significant change in the way that some departments own and manage the risks to their information and information systems," the strategy document says.
"Organisations will need to relinquish (or recognise that they have already relinquished) some autonomy in the handling and management of their information.
"Clear board-level ownership and accountability for information risks will be required. Where information is shared, a single point of risk ownership will be identified."
Three government agencies will oversee the work. They are the Central Sponsor for Information Assurance in the Cabinet Office (CSIA), CESG (the information assurance arm of GCHQ), and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said it is four years since the last national IA strategy was published. "It's the right time to re-evaluate how we approach this fast-changing environment," he said.
He added the strategy will be revised every one or two years, taking into account policy and technological developments.
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