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E-Government, Information Security, Policy

Tamil Nadu mandates government e-security

Increasingly dependent on information technology, government agencies are paying more attention to protecting their critical IT infrastructure, as any disruption of operation of information systems of critical infrastructure will have a devastating effect on citizens, economy and government services.

Recently IT Secretary of Tamil Nadu, P. W. C. Davidar, came up with the E - Security Policy which the state government agencies of Tamil Nadu have been asked to adhere to.

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Speaking to FutureGov Davidar said, “There is a high degree of trust within the government. It is like - you use my computer, I use yours and you keep it open and walk away. Our people still don’t feel that security could be a threat and security threats are not viewed very seriously by various departments. That is when we did some consultation and with the help of their expertise we devised the E - Security Policy.”

The E- Security Policy was devised after extensive ground work on government agencies over a period of 8 months and was put into effect on the 1st week of March, 2011. “We had to look at departments with miniscule IT personnel and with many knowing just the screens that they operate,” Davidar shared. “If you have a look at the E - Security Policy, it talks about prevention of damage to software and systems, how to control a possible damage and then of course, the structure – like having an Information Security Officer (ISO) for every department.”

He added that this was not the typical state of the art IT security set up but it basically lays a strong base to house a robust security setup based on the needs of a particular department.

“For example, the commercial taxes department sees transactions worth Rs. 1400 crores a month online, Cooperative banks transact Rs. 700 crores a month and we are looking to debit money into scholarship students’ bank accounts this year and all of this needs security,” He explained.

Moving forward, The IT secretary said that the individual government departments could issue their own orders for enhanced security based on the E - Security Policy.

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