The Rector writes ‘You may have already noticed that over in the Churchyard in Carrigaline we are currently following the
‘No Mow May’ initiative which asks us not to closely cut our grass and to allow flowers such as dandelions and clover to grow for our Bee population. The All Ireland Pollinator plan is trying to encourage each and every one of us to do what we can to help pollinators. I’ve printed and laminated some Posters if you would like one to display in your un-mowed garden!
Last week I had a note in here for Joy Keefe who was looking for volunteers for the Flowers and Bellringing Rota for St Mary’s Church and unbelievably I managed to get her phone number wrong! The correct mobile number for Joy is 087-2559844.
The Movie chosen for June for our Parish Netflix Club is the Oscar winning film ‘My Octopus Teacher’ where filmmaker Craig Foster forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world. The movie was written and directed by Pippa Ehrlich & James Reed, We’ll meet by Zoom on Friday night 25th June to discuss. Enjoy!’
Random Notes CCCLXXXII
Part two of a series on the UN Sustainable Development
Goals and Cybersecurity
The HSE cyberattack has thrown the need for a serious think about information security into sharp relief. We are all familiar with keeping our login and payment details secure, but what do we do when all our data is managed by someone else? What does it mean for a society when essential information is not kept securely? What are the risks to democracy and the orderly running of that society?
The HSE cyberattack is a harsh lesson that information technology cannot be treated in isolation from the people if affects. Most of us don’t care what computer systems the HSE runs (well, I care because that’s part of my job), but we do care when personal data is lost, and we will care if we are not able to receive medical treatment in a timely fashion. The attack on the HSE has impaired its ability to deliver a health service and to protect our rights to privacy.
This is where the UN SDGs come in.
SDG16 refers in particular to peace, justice and strong institutions. We cannot have strong institutions unless they mind our data properly and guarantee our individual privacy. The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a legislative framework to guarantee our privacy, is three years old this week. Compliance with GDPR goes some way towards achieving SDG16.
In the case of the HSE, that organisation will need to look carefully at how it stores patient data. Can that data be kept confidential? Can we be sure that the data is a true, complete, and accurate representation of reality. In other words, does the data have integrity? Can we guarantee that the data will always be available when it is needed? This is what we call the CIA triangle (nothing to do with American spies) – Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. Clearly the CIA triangle has been well and truly broken by recent events.
This obviously goes beyond a technical issue. The IT systems on which our institutions rely must be able to guarantee the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our data. Otherwise, those institutions cannot be trusted. Those institutions underpin our democracy. Clearly, in Ireland, our democracy is not at risk right now. But imagine a country where democracy is a whole lot shakier. In that case, cyberattacks can be far more instructive. Our institutions should not be taken for granted, here or anywhere else. But for them to be trusted, our data must be held and processed securely. Our current problems will have to be dealt with at policy level and the securing our data will require substantial investment. The alternative is chaos.