Globally, information security practices and technologies are similar. When we want to apply the best practices in certain applications, variables and limitations must be identified. This is the question when we take into consideration the application of best practices to a particular country, especially which may be considered technologically developing.
Studies have demonstrated that there is a correlation between security, eGovernment and governance. They also indicated that non-technical concerns are important, as technical ones, in the protection of sensitive information of an organization. The importance of non-technical concerns to a security department is not identified in many studies of a quantitative nature. For developing countries, there is a significant lack of emphasis in open publications on factors such as national and institutional culture, environment, awareness and how these factors affect the general attitudes towards information security and management.
The concept of eGovernment system is to provide access to e-services any where and at any time through open networks. This raises concerns about security and privacy when managing IT systems. Management of such issues in public sector differs form private sector. Broader eGovernment concept is technically of a social nature, including people, processes and technologies as well. Herein, especially in countries in transition, the social culture and characteristics of a country are factors of successful eGovernment development.
eGovernment can be defined as a government that uses IT systems to externally communicate in the public sector (with individuals and businesses) and internally (with other government departments). Articles on eGovernment are published in some developed countries, where a model of eGovernment integration was proposed, arguing that the establishment of efficient relations between central government, individual government agencies and e-service users is essential to a successful integration of eGovernment. These barriers have shown that both technical and non-technical issues should be taken into consideration when applying eGovernment integration.
One of barriers is likely to be the need to ensure appropriate security and privacy in eGovernment. Due to process details in general, management, security and processes models must intersect. It was observed that the eGovernment itself has become a major contributor to the security and privacy in relation to its basic concepts of openness and availability.
Information management in the public sector is relevant because the relationship between external customers of eGovernment systems requires to be managed wisely and carefully. Public institution researchers argue that the governments operate in an environment that is different from private organizations and therefore require different methods. Many characteristics were identified in this area. Public sector is characterized by the absence of economic markets to get the final product, however, it relies on government opportunities as its financial resources. This reliability produces another factor which is the political influence.
There may be a need for specialized forms of responsibility which is not ideally faced by private sector firms. The framework of public information management systems is different from the framework of traditional information management systems through an emphasis on environmental factors rather than internal characteristics of an organization. This suggests that the public and private sectors were affected by external factors such as economic and political power. However, public sector appears more affected by these factors than the private sector. Such differences play an important role in this technological proliferation in the establishment of eGovernment. Therefore, private sector model may be considered to be an inappropriate basis for management.
Public sector organizations have a number of special characteristics affecting any change in management training, including: solid hierarchies, culture, changes in policy direction that can be sudden and dramatic, overlapping initiatives, wide range of players, and staff who are a vital part in the public sector organizations. These unique characteristics formulate the intercourses between public organizations and citizens, as well as institutional roles, structures and processes. Another critical element is that the public sector is very sensitive to any incident related to information security. Despite such incidents may not be related directly to eGovernment, but have a negative impact on the adoption and implementation of eGovernment applications.
Say Yes to e-Government e-Magazine, No. 11, Kingdom of Bahrain, 15/5/2009