“Investigative article: Aspects to pay close attention to: Security and privacy of electronic services in RNM (IV)” – Portalb.mk

Cyber-security is one of the biggest challenges facing the modern digital world. Advances in technology and its inclusion in every segment of the functioning of society and state systems have also brought the risk of cyberattacks, certain structures or groups obtaining the data or information, which are super strong artillery to gain/cause great harm or great benefits, both financially and politically.

According to data published by Eurostat, in 2019, 33% of European Union citizens aged 16 to 74 had incidents related to cyber-security.

According to the National Cyber Security Index (NCSI), which measures more than three-quarters of the world’s cybersecurity estimates, the top ten countries best prepared for cyber attacks are Greece, the Czech Republic and Estonia, Lithuania, Spain, Croatia and France, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. North Macedonia is ranked 63rd, or from the European countries, is in a better position only than Montenegro and Albania.

While the most developed European countries are facing this phenomenon, North Macedonia obviously cannot be immune to cyberattacks, although so far we have not heard of any cyber attacks of a more serious scale or theft of data from state platforms that have information about citizens and which provide electronic services to the citizens of North Macedonia.

While the most developed European countries are facing this phenomenon, North Macedonia obviously cannot be immune to cyberattacks, although so far we have not heard of any cyber attacks of a more serious scale or theft of data from state platforms that have information about citizens and which provide electronic services to the citizens of North Macedonia.

During the last parliamentary elections held on 15 July, an unknown group under the pseudonym “Anonymous” blocked the website of the State Election Commission where the election results were published, exactly on the day of the elections. The citizens did not receive official information from the Commission for days. At the same time, they blocked the website of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, but also the news aggregator Time.mk. There have been attacks at this level before, but the attacker is still unknown.

Bardhyl Jashari

Information technology expert, Bardhyl Jashari, believes that the success of electronic services depends on the readiness of the institutions that provide these services to prevent and eliminate numerous potential threats, ranging from simple acts on information piracy (hacking) to the most serious attacks – cyber terrorism.

In Macedonia, he says, the few services provided electronically are relatively secure, though not at a perfect level, as this is not possible.

“There is no system that is 100 percent secure, so electronic services can never be 100 percent secure, but that does not mean that we should not use them and that we should not ask for as many electronic services as possible because it facilitates our work and makes it more efficient (we do not waste time waiting at the counters). Also, constant efforts should be made to increase the security of services and this is done only if we – users/citizens seek and use better services. In Macedonia, the few services provided electronically are relatively secure and we have not heard of serious problems with any of the services offered,” Jashari said.

What is often missing, according to him, are clear security protocols in the competent institutions, clear instructions for the use of the offered services, as well as privacy policies, which would increase the trust and the use of electronic services.

“The three main mechanisms that provide the basis for the security of electronic services include authentication, control of access to certain data and services and auditing (during this process, data is collected on the activity of the system during the use of the service). In all three mechanisms, a lot of work needs to be done in all institutions and at all levels, especially in the electronic services offered by the municipalities at the local level, which do not have the appropriate technical training, but also the necessary knowledge to provide secure electronic services “- says Jashari.

Elena Stojanovska

On the other hand, the expert on personal data protection, Elena Stojanovska, in an analysis for Portalb.mk, estimates that the increasing trend of providing as many services of state institutions to citizens electronically, in addition to requiring continuous monitoring of technological development, advancing the knowledge and changing the habits of the citizens, requires a precise finding of measures for the protection of the personal data of citizens.

According to her, most electronic services in the country do not have a transparent or easily accessible privacy policy.

“Different institutions make their services available to citizens in different ways, so it is inevitable to look for different models of establishing a system for the protection and security of personal data. Common to most current e-services is the lack of transparency or free access to the privacy policy,” Stojanovska said.

You can read the full analysis: HERE

This Investigative article was produced as part of the project Increasing Civic Engagement in the Digital Agenda – ICEDA, co-funded by the European Union and implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation (North Macedonia), the Academy of e-Governance (Estonia), Levizja Mjaft! (Albania), CRTA – Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability (Serbia), NGO 35mm (Montenegro) and ODK – Open Data Kosovo (Kosovo). The project is being implemented with financial support from the European Union.

This Investigative article was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Metamorphosis Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.


meta tim sliki-02.jpg

Other blog texts

Every minister boasted and took pictures about the project "One Point for Services" but it never succeeded


Collage of the visits of government officials to the offices of “One point for services” / Photo: State institutions   The offices “One Point for Services” that were opened in Skopje, Kumanovo, Ohrid, Bitola and Tetovo in order for the citizens to say “goodbye” to waiting at the counters, will be closed and in their […]

Protecting Your Digital Identity: The Importance of "Cyber Hygiene"


In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever to take steps to protect yourself from cyber threats. From viruses and malware to phishing scams and identity theft, there are a host of risks that can compromise your personal information and wreak havoc on your devices. That’s why practicing good cyber hygiene is essential to […]

Communicating digital transformation to the citizens – an important contribution to bridging the gap


Digital transformation is changing our lives in ways we could not have imagined even a few decades ago. It has brought new opportunities and challenges, and it is transforming the way we live, work, and communicate with each other. However, communicating digital transformation to citizens can be a challenge, especially in the Western Balkans, where […]

Institutions as a cause of privacy breaches in the media


Even if competent state authorities disclose private data of a perpetrator or a victim, media must not transmit that information. An error on the part of state authorities does not imply a “permission” for the violation of ethical principles of the profession. This is what the Serbian Journalists’ Code of Ethics says, but media practice […]

"ADA", the digital assistant based on artificial intelligence that will provide the citizens with information about state aid - Meta.mk News Agency


The digital assistant “ADA”; Photo: Government of the Republic of North Macedonia Investors and citizens will be able to receive information about the state aid programs of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia through the first digital assistant “ADA” which is based on artificial intelligence. This is the information provided by the Cabinet […]

The application of artificial intelligence in state institutions is useful, however it is dangerous if misused - Meta.mk News Agency


Photo: Pixabay.com Portalb.mk writes that the use of artificial intelligence in the public sector would help to increase the quality of services, to save citizens’ time and money, but also to prevent corruption. However, if AI is used non-transparently, the consequences outweigh the benefits. This is what experts say about the impact of artificial intelligence […]

Verified by MonsterInsights