Centre to battle cyber crime, strengthen security for important data

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  • The National Information Security Policy and Guidelines (NISPG) needs to be updated to cover cyber security issues against the government’s key data.
  • The update is expected to pertain to the Official Secrets Act which is against the action of helping an enemy state.
  • Hardware in electronic devices used by government sectors also need to be upgraded for security purposes.

The Home Ministry recently upgraded its policy for securing government data as it is worried about ‘sensitive information’ making its way to the internet. The new code covers issues pertaining to the Official Secrets Act which is against any citizen helping an enemy state.

Earlier the data could be locked away in cupboards and the people in-charge could be held accountable of any mishandling of information. However, the situation is not the same any more post the digitalisation of government processes.

Home Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, recently presided over a meeting to discuss the possible cyber threats to government data, after which it was announced that the National Information Security Policy and Guidelines (NISPG) needs to be updated for the government sector to deal with cyber security issues.

The guidelines were developed by the Home Ministry to ensure minimum security standards that different governmental sectors need to follow to protect their classified information. Up till 2013, cybersecurity fell under the purview of the Home Ministry. However, later it was shifted to the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS). While National Technical Research Organisation handled the critical infrastructure, its non-critical counterpart came under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

The upcoming policy will also take care of the hardware that needs to be upgraded to tackle security issues. For example, the physical security of the device is at stake when its components turn obsolete or when its hard disk is not destroyed prior to the device being discarded. Sensitive information can easily be stolen in such cases.

There also need to be guidelines for the commercially available cyber cables. As more and more people begin to access the internet and hardware devices across India, security issues are bound to pile up and the revised guidelines are also expected to deal with this.
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