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Minister Luhtanen: Civil dialogue on information security

Minister Luhtanen: Civil dialogue on information security

Press release 21.12.2004 00.00 en

The impacts of information security are growing in society. In order to be able to increase productivity and competitiveness, both enterprises and citizens need to seize the opportunities of the information society but also know how to prevent information security risks.

The National Information Security Advisory Board submitted its first progress report on information security to Ms Leena L u h t a n e n, Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland on Tuesday, 14 December 2004.

- Information security is no longer just a technological or financial matter but has, to a great extent, become a political aggregate. This means that initiatives concerning information security and data protection should be subjects of open civil dialogue. For example the obligation to save identification data of electronic communications for the purposes of the police and other authorities is such a topic, Minister L u h t a n e n stresses.

The aim is to increase trust in the information society through a programme of 21 concrete measures. The Advisory Board wants to further intensify the work and proposes four focal points for 2005. They emphasise measures that aim to upgrade the information security skills of basic users.

Ministry of Transport and Communications' Information Security Programme increases trust and information security in electronic services. The purpose of the National Information Security Risk Status Report drawn up by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority is to provide the actors with information on the development of information security and the current threats. The project Network Crime as an Information Security Problem creates a basis for investigating network crime and concentrates on actions preventing it. The focus in the field of public awareness is on the National Information Security Day on 8 February. Other projects of the strategy provide solid support for these focal points.

Minister L u h t a n e n emphasises how important the information security work is to the entire society.
- A society based on information and communications technologies is vulnerable in a new way. In terms of viruses, years 2003 and 2004 were one of the worst. And worse is sure to come. If the trust diminishes, the use of services decreases. Information security threats are in fact a threat to the foundation of the information society, Minister Luhtanen says.

This year positive steps have been taken in many sectors of the information security. Awareness has increased and antivirus software, personal firewalls and software updates have found to be important in both households and businesses. On the other hand, although the awareness has increased, the problems have not decreased; for example the vulnerability of the software has been exploited more and more.

In September 2003, the Government made a resolution on the National Information Security Strategy. Its implementation is supported and monitored by the National Information Security Advisory Board.

According to the Strategy, an information-secure society can be achieved through international and national cooperation in the field. Furthermore, the operating environment of the Finnish information and communications enterprises will be improved and the security risk management developed. The basic rights of individuals will be protected, the national knowledge capital secured and information security awareness and skills promoted.