Ministry of communication through the E-transform Project and National Information Agency (NITA) has announced plans to deploy a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system aimed at comprehensively protecting transactions and interactions on the country’s digital space.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful indicated that, the system will allow both the public and private institution authenticate and verify the data they receive and also protect the once they deal with.
“Businesses are becoming ever more depending digital information and electronic transactions. Data privacy is becoming a challenge making data security paramount. And as we increasingly digitize, we have to secure our digital transactions and don’t just leave it to chance”, she added
Over the years, forms of authentication systems have been employed to safeguard critical and sensitive data emanating from institutions. one of the most basic forms we all utilize is the single sign in password which that alone is enough to guarantee your safety.
The Public Key Infrastructure is a system for creating and managing identities, known as certificates. These certificates are necessary for a wide range of government functions, such as the ability to provide citizens with access to electronic government services, passport issuance and verification. The PKI is a mechanism for providing accountability through digital signing and time stamping of documents without falsification and fraud.
“Nowadays it’s easy to fake all kinds of things using the same technology so how do we ensure that the documents that you are for example filing in court are the real authentic documents” she said.
The system she added, is part of government’s E-transformation Agenda which seeks to digitize all transactions within the public sector and its full realization will help generate revenue for the state as well as provide maximum security for individuals and organizations. The government secured about US$4 million from the World Bank to undergo the Public Key Infrastructure project.
All efforts being employed by the government to digitize the economy is to build trust and accountability in the public sector. The PKI will provide another layer of authentication and security of all transactions that may be utilized in this time of digitization. “Organizations that mostly do their work online, for their work to be internationally recognized, they need to have a PKI in place”, she added.
As the host nation of the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, the PKI must be in place to ensure maximum protection since most of the trading among the countries will be done electronically. This will allow foreigners to trade in a secured digital environment and boost the local digital economy.
She further indicated that, the ministry is going to start work with the major institutions in the country that deals with data such the Registral Generals department, DVLA, SSNIT, NHIA among others and ensure that the project is in full operation by the end of the year.