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Governments Unable To Provide Secure Online Citizen Services: A Public Sector Index Report

Government organizations across the US, UK and ANZ (Australia and New Zealand) have been unable to provide secure online services for their citizens to use, according to a new report by Auth0 and Market Connections. 

The 2022 Public Sector Identity Index, based on a survey of 850 IT and decision makers within government on both national and state/county levels. Key takeaways included:

  • Less than one in five are extremely confident in the security and ease of use of their current authentication solution.
  • Username and password is still used by over 80% of citizens, with very little usage of biometric and passwordless authentications.
  • Speed to implement and use of internal staff to manage IAM internally were cited as the two biggest obstacles to creating an IAM solution in-house, with 41% of respondents currently attempting to create their own.
  • 75% of governments are looking to expand their digital services in the next two years, with protecting privacy and citizens’ data cited as the most important factor.

Jessica Figuera, cybercrime and digital identity to governments and Okta consultant said: “In the face of increasing digitization, skills shortages, and online harms, governments are taking a hard look at the technologies they can bring onboard to help them reach their digital goals. The research suggests that identity is one such technology that can help the public sector do more with less.”

Regional analysis within the US showed that ensuring citizens’ trust in digital services was of very high importance, but aren’t confident in their organization’s ability to deliver this (71% importance vs 56% confidence). Similar discrepancies crop up in the UK (66% vs 48%) and NZA (72% vs 60%).

With that in mind you have to ask, are the world’s governments ready for the new waves of cyberattacks to come, and will the citizens suffer for it?

About the author

Emily Louise Spencer
Emily Louise Spencer is a graduate of the University of York with a master's degree in Chemistry. A published scientific author, she now works as a freelance writer and copy editor.


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