Come February, even a private vendor laying computer cables in government offices will be subjected to background checks by the Union home ministry, as final touches are being given to a comprehensive National Information Security policy that is expected to be announced by the government by February 2014.
“The Union home ministry has been working on this policy that is expected to plug many loopholes in the government information and data-base systems,” a top government official familiar with the development told HT.
The policy, being framed with the aim of protecting the information and documentation system that the government uses, is to be seen as part of the overall move towards a more digitalised environment and will comprehensively include within its ambit computer programmes, softwares, involved private sector entities, etc.
“Besides the information contained in government documents per se that have implications on national security, the policy also seeks to protect the entire process of information flow and the systems that the government uses. This includes protection and maintaining confidentiality of the outsourced government work which is being handled by many private companies at present,” the official added.
In effect, the policy — to be applicable to all government departments — will be as comprehensive as to conduct background checks on private sector employees who would be handling sensitive information.
While many government departments continue to rely on cyber communication platforms that are being operated from foreign-based servers, the home ministry in July 2011 itself had issued strict directions to its employees to refrain from using mail platforms that have servers outside the country, social media platforms, etc.