Significant Safeguards For NIDS

Photo: Dave Reid Chief Technical Director in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, outlines details of the National Identification System (NIDS) during the Kiwanis Club of Spanish Town bi-monthly meeting at Arians Restaurant in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, on February 9.

Story Highlights

  • Head of Data Management for eGov Jamaica, Walt Brown, says significant safeguards will be instituted to secure information obtained for the National Identification System (NIDS).
  • EGov Jamaica, the agency that will provide technical information and communication technology guidance to the NIDS project team as well as host the system, is ensuring that all its employees undergo mandatory security training.
  • “We have demanded the highest level of security in the industry (from) those vendors who will be providing certain aspects of the software,” Mr. Brown assured.

Head of Data Management for eGov Jamaica, Walt Brown, says significant safeguards will be instituted to secure information obtained for the National Identification System (NIDS).

“We are going around ensuring that the major stakeholder systems will have the requisite infrastructure and measures adopted to ensure that there are no points of exposure in the data that will be resident in NIDS,” he said.

Mr. Brown was speaking at the Kiwanis Club of Spanish Town’s bi-monthly meeting at Arians Restaurant in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, on February 8.

EGov Jamaica, the agency that will provide technical information and communication technology guidance to the NIDS project team as well as host the system, is ensuring that all its employees undergo mandatory security training.

“From the gardener to the Chief Executive Officer…everyone has to do all the security programmes and you have to pass it at a certain level or you will have to repeat (them) until you (do). (The training involves) at least three or four security courses every month,” Mr. Brown stated.

Additionally, he said policies are in place to deal with the application of computer patches and upgrades in order to “keep compliant with the latest releases of software to ensure security”.

“We have demanded the highest level of security in the industry (from) those vendors who will be providing certain aspects of the software,” Mr. Brown assured.

Meanwhile, Chief Technical Director in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, said countries with a NIDS are being closely observed as regards best practices, particularly in relation to security.

These countries include: Estonia, South Korea, and some African nations.

She also pointed out that ethical or “white hat” hackers will be employed to test or evaluate NIDS’ security framework, as is the case in Estonia.

 

 

Meanwhile, Mrs. Lynch-Stewart informed that persons are becoming more understanding and less fearful of the need for a national identification system.

“Everywhere we have spoken…people understand. People are surprised about what we are asking… (regarding) all the information that they already provided (elsewhere),” she said.

NIDS is jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank at a cost of US$68 million, a significant portion of which will fund security infrastructure strengthening.

First phase registration is slated to begin with a pilot in September 2018 and proceed to a national roll-out in 2019.

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