Data Security – a threat to e-Governance?


Data Security – a threat to e-Governance?

Sponsored: According to recently released Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report (WISR), there is a drastic increase in Reported Attacks on Government and Financial Services Organizations in India.

The global headlines of past 2 quarters were not only peppered by the revelations about how governments were keeping track of their citizens online, but also increasingly dominated by the large number of data breaches and even larger volume of digital identities being leaked. Investing in data security solutions is an important step for government organizations, as hackers and hostile nations pose an increasing threat to the integrity of critical national infrastructure.

Data Security - A Threat to eGovernance[1]
Data Security – A Threat to eGovernance[1]

India is also setting up its own ‘cyber security architecture’ that will comprise the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) for threat assessment and information sharing among stakeholders, the Cyber Operation Centre that will be jointly run by the NTRO (the National Technical Research Organisation) and the armed forces for threat management and mitigation for identified critical sectors and defence, and the National Critical Information Infrastructure

Protection Centre (NCIIPC) under the NTRO for providing cover to ‘critical information infrastructure’. The government is also coming up with a legal framework to deal with cyber security.

The use of mobile devices and applications is one of the key reason why IT & data security has become the talking point in the Government.

Today, everything is mobile, connected, interactive, immediate, and fluid. According to a report by IDC, almost 37% of the workforce would be mobile by year 2015. BYOD (Bring your own device) strategies that have been implemented in various government institutions have led to increased productivity but can also lead to increased security vulnerabilities.

Lets accept, our age old “one solution fits all” philosophy won’t work anymore for any modern day government enterprise to tackle the security risks. Basic legacy security applications, like antivirus and malware protection, do not even exist for the majority of mobile devices that are currently in use, and common security practices such acceptable use policies and password protection are ignored by the average users.

Being able to remotely access the servers has so many benefits for government agencies, but these benefits come with increased risks, like being hacked or loss of critical data due to a lost tablet or mobile device.

Government enterprises have to think beyond their current status of risk avoidance & rather manage the risks posed by newer technologies. Just like HP does it with their market leading security solutions. Keeping in mind the security needs of modern enterprises and governments, HP’s has made some unique desktop devices like Elite Desk 800 G1 Desktop Mini Business PC that comes with with integrated enterprise class performance, security and manageability features which are tailor made for governments to manage risks by securing their communications and information seamlessly.

Features like HP BIOSphere boosts security and keeps missioncritical data and systems under lock and key with customizable authentication and BIOSlevel passwords. HP Secure Erase10 removes the contents of a hard drive for repurposing or reassignment. HP Device Access Manager with JITA (Just in Time Authentication) prevents leaks in secret & confidential IT, research & financial data.

Research shows that the public sector has taken a large step in the right direction. But there is still work to do. Clearly, some public sector organisations are still not taking the risks seriously or understanding the consequences of not introducing adequate measures in place. But with the new government in power, we can surely hope that soon IT security would be on top priority of all the PSU organisations.

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