Minister gives update on Govt. digital program

By Maggie Kelekolio 29 February 2020, 6:00AM

The Government is focusing on digital learning, developing a digital economy and digitizing all government services including the national identification, health and e-commerce programs.

Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai said this when speaking on the second day of the Samoa Information Technology Association (S.I.T.A.)-hosted National Seminar and Workshop on Friday. 

He acknowledged the importance of protecting Samoa from cyber attacks and said he is thankful for the services offered by the firm UpGuard Australia to guard the network, however, their focus is ensuring the Government fully benefits from digital technology. 

"Protection of our information and networks is very important and as I said we don't have the money to protect and spend on protecting Samoa's information and from cyber attacks. There is a lot of development that the S.I.T.A. is working on, but we are focusing on our digital learning, a digital economy digitizing all services of the Government, national ID, health and e-commerce programs" he said. 

The goal of the February 27-28 conference at the Samoa Convention Center, TATTE Building, Sogi was “to strengthen and build awareness of digital security in Samoa and to promote how to secure data communication and network infrastructure”.

S.I.T.A. President, Muliagatele James Ah Wai, said the number of conference participants over the two days surprised him and he did not expect the high level of interest from the business community and civil society.

"The registration number was far beyond my expectations, and I was not expecting to see so much interest from both the business community and civil society,” he said.

When asked if there were any cases of cyber security attacks in Samoa, he said: “Some businesses are very private with their work and they don't want to expose such information or they'll lose clients, and I am not aware of any major security breaches.

“If there was one I am pretty sure that Samoa Observer will be the first to post it, so far if you haven't seen it, I haven't seen it either.”

According to a S.I.T.A. press statement, the first day of the conference saw a variety of presentations on cyber security in various contexts, showcasing practical information and advice on reducing cyber risk, preventing breaches and protecting data. International presenters included personnel from UpGuard, APNIC and CERT NZ.  

There are also presentations from local ICT related business as well as government and private sector entities such as Digicel Samoa, Attorney General’s Office, Central Bank of Samoa, Bluesky Samoa, Computer Services Limited, BitSolution, and SkyEye Samoa for both technical and non-technical audiences.

By Maggie Kelekolio 29 February 2020, 6:00AM

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