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Enter e-Estonia: security and safety

In the fourth part of Enter e-Estonia the video series, we take a look at a crucial aspect of digitalisation: security and data protection. A number of measures are employed to keep the online entities and the information they store protected and accessible to the people who need it.

In this video: security and safety

First of all, for those in Estonia’s digital society, there are individual security measures, such as those that come with the e-ID. This along with electronic ID solutions (Smart ID and mobile ID) and their PIN numbers, allow users to log in and use their personalised digital services or sign documents electronically.

Secondly, the system itself is designed in a way so information is not stored in one central database. Such architecture helps prevent coordinated attacks and internal errors. Plus, Estonia was the first state to implement blockchain technology in 2012 on a national level. This helps reinforce the existing system by protecting information from unauthorised changes.

Third, is transparency. The source codes are public for services such as i-voting, allowing individuals with data skills to check for vulnerabilities or backdoors in the codes. Estonia also uses white hat hackers to go through the code and ensure the integrity of the system.

Fourth, is the development of additional entities and agencies assigned to protect the digital ecosystem. For example, Estonia has set up a data embassy. So in case there is an attack on the system or even a national power outage, databases could be run remotely from abroad. Additionally, the Estonian Defence League has initiated a cyber unit for volunteers to be called up in case of an attack.

Fifth, and final is education. From a young age, children in Estonian schools are taught the importance of digital skills. Programming and data literacy are part of the educational curriculum, and cyber hygiene is stressed.

All of these precautions and measures are important to ensure that users’ information is secure within the digital environment. Not only is this important to keep people’s data safe, but without a solid foundation of trust, citizens would not use the e-services available.

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