AOH :: ISN-3008.HTM

New security regime for government computers

New security regime for government computers
New security regime for government computers 

By Murali Krishnan

New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) In order to ensure that vital information 
stored in computers does not fall into wrong hands, the Indian 
government has directed all ministries and departments to submit a 
quarterly report on cyber security to the Intelligence Bureau.

The theft of hard drives from the Defence Research and Development 
Organisation (DRDO) offices of the Scientific Analyses Group (SAG) and 
the Institute for System Studies and Analyses (ISSA) as well as the 
leakage in the War Room of the naval headquarters have provided the 
spur, official sources said.

According to senior officials, a detailed set of guidelines has been 
issued to make government data secure and a cyber security officer 
appointed in each ministry under the new security regime.

"We will also conduct checks at random to see if the storage of critical 
data in computers is carried out properly and, more important, if it is 
in safe custody. The move is also to ensure there is no theft of 
classified information," said an intelligence officer.

A trained network administrator will strictly monitor the security of 
passwords, the use of flash drives and floppies for computer servers 
used for classified applications.

The implementation of this move will begin in October.

The government already has in place a Computer Emergency Response Team 
(CERT-In) aimed at protecting from hackers the networks of defence 
forces, air and rail traffic and other vital security and economic 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has himself called upon government 
departments and the IT industry to work together to tighten cyber 
security laws.

At a meeting to review the steps taken by the government and industry to 
tackle cyber crimes last year, he underlined the need to maintain high 
standards of quality, confidentiality and reliability in the business.

There have been several high-profile cases of both theft and leakages 
from government departments to warrant this move.

The theft of hard drives from the DRDO complex some years ago proved a 
major embarrassment for the scientific establishment.

In the War Room leak, cases were filed against military officers 
including a former wing commander of the air force, two ex-naval 
commanders and a former naval captain in June this year.

Again in June, computer parts went missing from the headquarters of the 
Integrated Defence Services (IDS) here, forcing the government to order 
a court of inquiry into the incident.

The government action came after the theft of 13 computer printer 
cartridges worth Rs.17,000 from the store room of the well-protected 
military installation in the heart of the capital.

While these measures will indeed make it more difficult to pilfer 
information and raise the stakes for those attempting to subvert the 
system, they are by no means sufficient.

"There can be no let-up in vigilance as ultimately, in ensuring cyber 
and digital security, it is the human element that is the weak link,"  
said the intelligence official.

Whether it is the written-down password lying around carelessly or a 
corrupt security guard, a small chink can have serious consequences.

HITBSecConf2006 - Malaysia 
The largest network security event in Asia 
32 internationally renowned speakers 
7 tracks of hands-on technical training sessions. 
Register now: 

Site design & layout copyright © 1986-2014 CodeGods