The ISSA has entered an agreement with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to support social security institutions enhance their capacities in the area of information and communications technologies (ICT) and in particular on cybersecurity.
The ITU is the UN’s specialized agency in the area of telecommunications and information and communications technology. “We see the ITU as a fantastic partner and we look very much forward to common events, common reports, common research and exchange. We expect that this partnership will contribute to our objective to help our members reach excellence in social security administration” said Secretary General Hans-Horst Konkolewsky in a video interview with the ITU.
Cybersecurity is one of the key issues that the ISSA and the ITU will address. In the 10 Global Challenges for Social Security report, ISSA members identified cybercrime as a key challenge, as a result of the technological transition and increasing use of digital services. Effective social security depends on users trusting the system, which makes it crucial to tackle the threats of hacking, ransomware and data theft. This was also highlighted by ITU expert Anders Norsker at the recent ISSA International Conference on Information and Communication Technology in Social Security.
The ISSA will also collaborate with the ITU on the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) in order to assess the readiness and gaps of cybersecurity measures, particularly by collecting data among social security institutions. Furthermore, the ISSA and the ITU will cooperate on issues such as digital identity, digital inclusion and communications infrastructure, which have an important impact on the extension of social security coverage.
By identifying the challenges and addressing them effectively, the technological transition would more than anything be seen as providing great opportunities for improving social security delivery and cost-effectiveness. The ISSA-ITU cooperation is also about exploring and nurturing those opportunities. The signing of this new agreement is in line with ISSA’s vision of ICT as an instrument of transformation as exemplified by the ISSA Guidelines on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).