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J&K Govt puts in place stringent e-office security measures to protect official information

SRINAGAR, OCT 23: In a significant move toward streamlining and securing government operations, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has initiated the implementation of e-office systems across all of its offices. This transition aims to enhance efficiency and the digital conduct of government business.

However, with the paramount concern of maintaining the security and confidentiality of sensitive official information, the government has introduced stringent measures to safeguard data from unauthorized access.

As per the official order, the government’s endeavour to ensure data protection and compliance with the Information Technology (IT) Act of 2000, coupled with the Information Technology Security Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, has led to the strict prohibition of unauthorized personnel from accessing sensitive data within e-office files and references. Unauthorized access encompasses various activities such as viewing, copying, sharing, or disseminating data without proper clearance.

Any unauthorized access to sensitive data is considered a breach of existing IT rules and is treated as a penal offence under Chapter XI of the IT Act 2000. The government has made it clear that instances of unauthorized access will result in disciplinary as well as penal actions in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law.

Consequently, all officers and officials utilizing the e-office platform are unequivocally prohibited from accessing sensitive data for which they do not possess explicit authorization from the designated or competent authority. To ensure compliance and detect potential breaches, departments have been directed to conduct audit trails, examining sensitive events and patterns to identify any fraudulent use or unauthorized access to the system data. Legal measures will be pursued against individuals found guilty of such access breaches.

Additionally, all government departments have been instructed to take prompt action to prevent individuals who no longer require access to e-office, such as those who have been transferred or have left their respective departments or organizations, from accessing their previous accounts. To facilitate this, departments are mandated to notify the Information Technology Department within a day of such personnel changes. Subsequently, the Information Technology Department will take measures to suspend or close the accounts of these individuals, ensuring that they can no longer access e-office resources from their previous offices or places of posting.

To manage these processes effectively, all departments are required to designate a Nodal officer responsible for liaising with the Information Technology Department concerning personnel whose accounts need to be closed due to transfers or superannuation. This coordination will expedite the suspension or closure of accounts in a timely manner.

The Information Technology Department is also set to establish procedures for User Accounts Management, Data Resource Protection, and Sensitive System Protection, aligning with the IT Act of 2000. These protocols will be enacted within a week to further bolster data security. The department will also provide monthly reports on any instances of unauthorized access to the General Administration Department (GAD), states the official circular.

“These robust security measures underline the government’s commitment to safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining the integrity of its e-office systems, ensuring the efficient and secure functioning of government operations in Jammu and Kashmir,” a senior official said.

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