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EXCLUSIVE - Focus on cybersecurity and compliance at the Ministry of State Secretariat in Indonesia

OpenGov sat down with Andrie Syahriza, Chief of Bureau for Information & Technology at the Ministry of State Secretariat. The Ministry provides technical, administrative, and analytical support to the President and Vice President in the exercise of their state powers.

What are the functions of your ministry and the current areas of focus at the Ministry of State Secretariat?

Our Ministry advises the President and Vice-President’s Office. The Bureau for Information & Technology is responsible for all technical issues.

Currently our focus is on security issues. We want to increase user compliance to our policies. Secondly, we are trying to put firm Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for all ministries and divisions.

We are also working to increase security awareness in our staff across all levels.

What will be the priority areas in the longer term of around 2-3 years?

It will be the same. It’s a continuous process. Security and compliance will continue to the main area of focus. In parallel, we will also develop our technology compatibility and also the technology for the applications. Interoperability and standardisation is the primary concern for us.

At the national level, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics is responsible for formulating policies, including plans for continuity.

Do you work with other ministries or government agencies?

Yes, we have to co-ordinate with other ministries for sharing data.

Data is very important for us and we want to move towards informed policy making based on collection and analysis of data. We are working to improve openness and willingness of the ministries to co-operate with us from the older mindset of proprietary ownership and siloed storage of data within divisions and ministries.

It is more difficult in some of the ministries but things are changing. I am confident that in the future, we will achieve the desired results and data sharing will happen the way it should between parts of the government.

We heard about centralised data collection from across ministries. Could you tell us about it? Is your division involved in it?

There is an ongoing data collaboration project to collect data in a central location. It is led by the Kantor Staf President or the President’s Staff Office. It is also under the Ministry of State Secretariat but is different from my division. While, the aforementioned project is all about how to collaborate and share data for public purposes, we work on analysing the data and obtaining insights for internal use only.

We are also considering Big Data tools. We have already developed system software and an application using in-house programmers. We have an in-house development and deployment team. This application has already been delivered to the various ministries. Sometimes, there is resistance to adoption.

It is not just about the national ministries but we also need to implement at the provincial level. Indonesia has 34 provinces and tens of thousands of regencies, cities, district and village level administrative units. It’s a big country with a huge population.

What are your concerns regarding cybersecurity and what steps are you taking to mitigate the risks?

We are concerned about security attacks from outside and also internal threats. The biggest challenge is to avoid attacks from the inside. That’s why we must build our security foundations during this next year.

Especially when we are collaborating with the other ministries, the risk increases. We cannot afford to compromise confidential information. We need to be able to trust the IT infrastructure that we implement.  

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