[ISN] Beware of spies, Govt agencies told

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2008 05:02:52 -0500 (CDT)

The Dominion Post 
20 October 2008

Government agencies should weigh up the risks to security and New 
Zealand's wider economic interests before outsourcing IT systems 
overseas, says the State Services Commission.

The commission has been developing guidelines for agencies considering 
"offshoring" information processing for 18 months.

An IT industry executive at one multinational says the upshot is that 
while departments could send processing overseas, it would probably be 
easier for them to "pass their datacentres through the eye of a needle".

Commission spokesman Jason Ryan says the advice stresses the dangers of 
offshoring, but also sets out how they could be managed.

"That was the intention - to make people well aware of what the risks 
were and how they could think about mitigating them."

The biggest supplier of IT services to the Government, EDS New Zealand, 
now a division of Hewlett-Packard, says the framework gives agencies a 
tool to weigh up the risks. "In the business world, it is accepted that 
sending work offshore can provide an opportunity to improve service 
delivery and reduce costs."

But the commission says agencies should create a risk report and look at 
the "worst case scenario". Risks include industrial espionage, 
"intelligence-gathering by foreign governments" and the difficulty of 
enforcing privacy and legal rights in overseas jurisdictions.


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Received on Wed Oct 22 2008 - 03:02:52 PDT

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