Government bids to boost IT security

In a bid to revamp the government's security strategy, the E-envoy has launched a major consultation exercise.

In a bid to revamp the government's security strategy, the E-envoy has launched a major consultation exercise.

The consultation documents - dubbed the Security Framework - outline the security requirements for Tony Blair's e-government strategy.

However the requirements will also apply to private sector organisations and other third parties that supply government services, according to the E-envoy's department.

The consultation was launched in December 2001 and many organisations that could be affected may have missed the announcement.

The E-envoy's department told "The Security Framework plays a central role in ensuring that security requirements for e-government are aligned with best e-commerce practices."

The document itself implies that government IT security is currently well below best e-commerce practice.

Last year's terror attacks on the US have left their mark. The document warns that in future state security services will have to provide regular statements "on the level of threat" faced by government and its service suppliers.

In addition to terrorist threats, the document highlights potential sources of threat including government insiders, E-government service operators and hostile outsiders, including organised crime groups who "may be attracted by the potential for large-scale fraud presented by e-government."

The E-envoy's department admits, "Some IT related fraud is already known to have taken place."

Other sources of threat listed include commercial organisations that "may seek to acquire information about competing companies, customers, debtors etc from e-government related sources," and investigation agencies that "may seek to exploit e-government systems as a source of information on targets of interest".

The consultation closes on 31 January. Documents are available from

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