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Future of e-state as seen by the president

President Kersti Kaljulaid recently held a meeting with the National Defence Council, to discuss the future of the e-state and how Estonia can continue to be exemplary. Dealing with cyber security related crises, raising awareness and competences and sustainable e-governance funding were also on the table. One significant conclusion that arose is that we need to actively seek opportunities to increase cyber security and cryptography capabilities in order to continue building exellence. The question is, how to make sure that our systems respond to the development of technology.

The council reviewed the situation since the 2017 ID card crisis, which saw a security risk affecting as many as 800,000 Estonian ID cards late on that year. The solution at the time was for users to update their own security certificates, either remotely or at Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) stations. The problem had affected cards issued between October 2014 and October 2017. President Kaljulaid at the time said that Estonian agencies had done a “B+” job in dealing with the crisis, which has been discussed at two previous National Security Councils since then.

“The rapid development of technology also causes us to struggle,” President Kaljulaid said after Monday’s meeting. She stressed that while the Estonian e-government works and is a world-leader, we must constantly maintain the position as best in the field and make relevant decisions.

“In no other country is e-government a vital service, but since the Estonian people no longer accept paperwork, we have no alternative.”

“For this reason, we need to think, for example, of further development of cryptography know-how and skills in Estonia. Additionally, upgrading information security and cybersecurity capabilities is key. Without this, the e-government can not be sustainable,” she added on the future of e-state.

The National Defense Council (Riigikaitse Nõukogu) is an advisory body to the President, discussing issues and presenting opinions relevant to national defense.

This article references an article originally published on ERR.

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