PH gov’t starts using PKI to secure email, online transactions

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The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced recently that government email and online transactions will now have an additional layer of security with the introduction of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which uses digital certificates and dual encryption keys in securing data.

The PKI was launched at the opening of a four-day celebration of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Month held at the DOST?s ICT Office (DOST-ICTO) in Diliman, Quezon City.

“Other than securing email and online transactions, PKI will also be an integral part of other applications such as payment gateway system, Narmis (National Archives and Records Management Information System), GovMail (Government Wide Email System) and other applications that will require secure communication and encryption,” said Rene Mendoza, head of the PKI team of the DOST?s Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project.

Through the use of the certificates digitally signed by a Certificate Authority, PKI ensures that transmitted data is authentic, valid and has not been tampered with in transit.

Data security is an essential component of the E-Government Master Plan and iGovPhil Project. Securing data transmitted between parties through PKI will enable the development of services and applications that will ensure the efficient delivery of public services.

Eventually, digital certificates will be issued to private individuals to facilitate transactions with government as well as to secure their personal electronic communication.

Universal Multi-purpose ID (UMID) agencies such as SSS, PhilHealth, PagIBIG, NSO and GSIS stand to benefit from the use of PKI as they offer most of their services online.

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