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Publications & Documents


  • 11-February-2021

    English

    Encouraging vulnerability treatment - Overview for policy makers

    Most digital security incidents are caused by malicious actors (e.g. cybercriminals and state-sponsored groups) exploiting vulnerabilities in organisations’ digital ecosystems. Addressing vulnerabilities before attackers take advantage of them is an effective means of reducing the probability of cybersecurity incidents. This paper discusses vulnerabilities in products’ code such as software and firmware, and in how products are implemented in information systems. It shows that the technical community has progressed in developing good practice for treating vulnerabilities, including through co-ordinated vulnerability disclosure (CVD). However, significant economic and social challenges prevent stakeholders from adopting good practice, such as legal frameworks that do not sufficiently protect 'ethical hackers' from legal proceedings. The paper stresses that public policies aimed at removing obstacles and encouraging vulnerability treatment could significantly reduce digital security risk for all. The findings from this paper will inform the development of a new OECD Recommendation in this area.
  • 10-February-2021

    English

    Going Digital in Latvia

    Going Digital in Latvia analyses recent developments in Latvia’s digital economy, reviews policies related to digitalisation and make recommendations to increase policy coherence in this area, based on the OECD Going Digital Integrated Policy Framework. The review uses strategic foresight to explore three alternative future scenarios, which could result from the digital transformation of the global economy and society. It also examines the availability and quality of communication networks and services in Latvia as well as related policies and regulations. Further, it reviews trends in digital technology usage among individuals, businesses and the government, and examines policies to foster diffusion. Finally, the review analyses opportunities and challenges raised by digitalisation in key areas, from innovation and skills to digital security and data governance, and evaluates policy responses to these changes in Latvia.
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  • 10-February-2021

    English

    Science, technology and innovation in the time of COVID-19

    Science, technology and innovation (STI) have played a key role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented socio-economic crisis it has triggered. This paper explores how the pandemic affected STI in 2020, including how STI was mobilised to provide vaccines, treatments and innovative (often digital) solutions to address 'social distancing'. The paper also reviews the quick and agile STI policy responses implemented across countries to stimulate research and innovation activities to find solutions to the pandemic. Moreover, the paper covers STI policies that targeted universities, research centres, innovative businesses and entrepreneurs most affected by the crisis. It also raises key debates on the effectiveness of such policies. Follow-up work will leverage more and better data to improve this early assessment of the impacts of the crisis and STI policy responses.
  • 9-February-2021

    English

    Good Practice Principles for Data Ethics in the Public Sector

    The Good Practice Principles for Data Ethics in the Public Sector aim to support an ethical use of data in practice through digital government projects, products, and services that place trust at the core of their design and delivery.

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  • 9-February-2021

    English

    Understanding the digital security of products - An in-depth analysis

    Economies and societies are increasingly reliant upon 'smart products' that contain code and can connect to one another, e.g. through the Internet. Recent cyber-attacks such as Mirai, WannaCry, NotPetya and SolarWinds have underlined that the exploitation of vulnerabilities in smart products can have severe economic and social consequences. Such attacks increasingly threaten users’ safety and well-being, as well. This report shows that economic factors play an important role in the relative 'insecurity' of smart products. It develops an analytical framework based on the value chain and lifecycle of smart products, and applies the framework to three case studies: computers and smartphones, consumer Internet of Things (IoT) devices and cloud services. It demonstrates that complex and opaque value chains lead to a misallocation of responsibility for digital security risk management, while significant information asymmetries and externalities often limit stakeholders’ ability to behave optimally.
  • 9-February-2021

    English

    Enhancing the digital security of products - A policy discussion

    From 'traditional' software to cloud services and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, our economies and societies are increasingly reliant upon 'smart products' that contain code and can connect to each other, e.g. through the Internet. Such products are vulnerable to cyber security risk, and economic factors often play a major role in their relative ‘insecurity’. This report discusses how policy makers can address key challenges that prevent smart products from reaching an optimal level of digital security. Increasing transparency and information sharing, promoting co-operation (including at the international level), and ensuring the duty of care of supply-side actors (e.g. through the principles of security-by-design, security-by-default and responsible end-of-life) are important avenues for policy action. Policy makers can leverage many tools to achieve these objectives, from public procurement, certification and multi-stakeholder partnerships, to labels and ex ante legal requirements.
  • 5-February-2021

    English

    The design and implementation of mission-oriented innovation policies - A new systemic policy approach to address societal challenges

    This paper analyses ‘mission-oriented innovation policies’ (MOIPs), a new type of systemic intervention that a growing number of countries has implemented in order to tackle mounting societal challenges. These policies aim to alleviate some of the most prevalent weaknesses within many national systems of innovation, notably the lack of holistic strategic orientation and policy co-ordination, and fragmented policy mixes. This paper leverages a dedicated analytical framework to systematically explore the challenges and opportunities that these policies present at initiative and country levels. In doing so, it provides a better understanding of the different ways in which governments design, fund and coordinate MOIPs, and contributes to broadening the range of options available to either improve or initiate this policy approach. This paper complements the MOIP Online Toolkit (https://stip.oecd.org/stip/moip), the OECD knowledge platform on MOIPs.
  • 3-February-2021

    English

    The Digital Transformation of SMEs

    Despite potentially tremendous benefits, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lag in the digital transformation. Emerging technologies, as diverse as they are, offer a range of applications for them to improve performance and overcome the size-related limitations they face in doing business. However, SMEs must be better prepared, and stakes are high. SMEs make the most of the industrial fabric in many countries and regions, they create jobs (most jobs sometimes) and are the cement of inclusive and sustainable societies. The SME digital gap has increased inequalities among people, places and firms, and there are concerns that the benefits of the digital transformation could accrue to early adopters, further broadening these inequalities. Enabling SME digitalisation has become a top policy priority in OECD countries and beyond. The report looks at recent trends in SME digital uptake, including in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. It focuses on issues related to digital security, online platforms, blockchain ecosystems, and artificial intelligence. The report identifies opportunities, risks of not going digital, and barriers to adoption. It looks to concrete policy action taken worldwide to speed the SME transformation and raises a series of considerations to advance the SME digital policy agenda.
  • 27-January-2021

    English

    Measuring cloud services use by businesses

    Cloud computing infrastructures underpin an ever-increasing range of business tools, yet measures of cloud service adoption based on business ICT usage surveys give only a partial view of their diffusion. They do not reveal the intensity or volume of use by businesses, or the amount spent on cloud services. This paper assesses the extent to which insights on the use of commercial cloud services (i.e. services purchased from external providers) can be gleaned from economic and business statistics – in particular, from supply-use tables and the underlying business surveys. The paper examines the defining features of cloud services and their treatment in various statistical product classifications, before deriving estimates on the use of specific 'cloud-containing product classes' across businesses. A key finding is that efforts are needed to improve the availability of data that can be used to gain robust insights on business use of cloud services.
  • 22-January-2021

    English

    Telework before the COVID-19 pandemic - Trends and drivers of differences across the EU

    This paper provides an overview of the trends and differences in the prevalence of telework across EU countries, sectors and occupations before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Descriptive evidence shows that before the outbreak telework was more widespread in ICT- and knowledge-intensive sectors, and generally for high-skilled workers, although with big differences across EU countries. In fact, as shown in this paper, the prevalence of telework varied considerably across countries even within the same sector and occupational group. This suggests that, beyond differences in the industrial and occupational structure of employment, other factors, notably related to differences in organisation and management cultures, contribute to explaining the varying prevalence of telework in the EU. As a result of the outbreak-induced requirements to work from home, differences in telework uptake across countries, sectors and job profiles have likely narrowed in recent months. Yet, if past trends are a guide, the ability to further scale up telework in the future without hampering productivity may remain unevenly distributed in the EU.
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