A recent article in the UK Telegraph outlined the threats citizens face within the Cyber world. From phishing scams to breaches, there are vulnerabilities everywhere. The average number of days before a breach is detected is 205 days. These threats are real, however Estonia protects its citizens daily through cutting-edge technology and innovations.
The ID card is cornerstone of Estonian e-governance; the security of a citizen’s identity begins here. The special chipped ID cards carry with them certificates authenticating the user and the digital signature; the Estonian company, Sertifitseerimiskeskus AS (Certification Center AS), facilitates the certification and encryption. Using the country’s public key infrastructure, the ID card helps keep a person’s sensitive information secure within the system using 2048-bit encryption.
The ID card is the secure key and cornerstone to access e-services for the Estonian citizens; the X-Road is the backbone, which facilitates the services. Developed by Cybernetica, the X-Road is a secure, distributed data exchange framework. This technology gives citizens a strong sense of security as they are logging in and using services daily. The platform uses the digital signature and PKI system; this system then ensures credibility within the system to protect data.
Data breaches can come from external and internal sources. That is why ensuring security on both sides is important. Guardtime, an Estonian-based company develops blockchain technology that can help detect interior threats. Keyless Signature Infrastructure, or KSI, keeps data safe by creating a digital footprint or digital DNA; thus securing data internally.
An Atlantic Council co-sponsored roundtable of notable cyber experts discussed the state of cyber security in 2016, since there were frequent breaches in 2015; they are cautiously optimistic that there will be fewer breaches in 2016. The panel noted that encryption is key, and that network centric layers are important for data protection; solutions that the Estonian government is currently using.