This article was written by Joleen Young
Director, Operations, Management Consulting KPMG in Canada
In the information economy, every byte has value. To protect our virtual assets, we must shield Canada's digital strategy with cyber controls that can protect both public and private sector data against global threat agents.
This is not a challenge we can shelve for tomorrow. As recent headlines prove, there is no shortage of external actors intent on bypassing copyrights, security systems, and data privacy laws to line their pockets and feed their own data economies. They will not be held back by tanks and troops, but with cyber controls that balance the need to protect government, company, and citizen data with the mandate to keep our data fluid and fueling Canada's own digital objectives.
Digital identity management is critical to striking that balance. Therefore, it is important to consider a Customer Identity and Access Management (IAM) strategy where a citizen's unique digital identity could provide access to public and private sector accounts with personal preferences across multiple channels; an identity that could be fully verified and, along every transaction, provide authorized parties with an end-to-end view of their transactions for holistic auditing purposes. With the proper registration and identity proofing controls, that digital identity approach would dramatically streamline the way Canadians access vital services and resources. However, a solution like this would need to be user-friendly, future-proof, and aligned to best industry protocols and practices.
Data is the new commodity. So while the government must defend homegrown data against malicious outside threats, it must also strive to create a secure, silo-free, and fluid data-sharing landscape. That starts with a unified approach; one in which government agencies, large businesses, and citizens come together to align cyber strategies and march forward to the same virtual beat.