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The government will launch in a few months an email service for 5 million employees because it is looking at securing communication between various departments.
The National Informatics Centre (NIC), which manages the information technology (IT) infrastructure of the government, will develop the service with a multi-pronged security layer. The service has various security features, which will preclude any external attack on emails.
According to a senior official in the communications and IT ministry, geofencing will be done with the email service, which means an employee will be able to log in only from a location identified as base. When they travel, employees need to inform the NIC how long they will be away so that geofencing can be disabled for the period.
Similarly, officials can log in only through registered devices. An employee needs to inform the NIC which device he or she wants and it should be registered with the centre. An employee can have more than device.
“There can be no external attacks because of these features. It is the government mail system, so we can’t depend on Microsoft or Google to run the service. We have developed the system in-house,” the official said.
The NIC is running an email service for government officers. Currently, 1.6 million email accounts are active. “The security of the current email system will be strengthened fivefold. Senior officers have shifted to the new service, which will be launched for all in a couple of months,” the official added.
With most of the official communication being done electronically, the security of the email service is priority for the government.
The official said the NIC would keep track of the system round the clock.
“The complexity of attacks is rising and every day there is a new kind of attack. If an official clicks on a phishing link, the system will be infected and we have to restore it in the shortest time possible so that information can be saved,” the official said.