Why data security must be government’s top priority for Modi’s ‘Digital India’ to become reality

Published: May 14, 2018 4:20:09 PM

According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India witnessed more than 27,000 cyber security threats in the first six months of 2017.

Defence ministry website, home ministry website, cyber security, Gulshan Rai, hacking, government website hack, government website hacking, Ministry of Defence, India, Nirmala SitharamanRecords Management is an important initiative undertaken by any organisation. (Reuters)

According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India witnessed more than 27,000 cyber security threats in the first six months of 2017. The number presents a strong case for data security and the need for records management in government institutions. Further, with the increasing internet penetration and emphasis on the Digital India initiative, securely managing government records has become the need of the hour. Records Management is an important initiative undertaken by any organisation. In order to effectively manage government records, a robust Records Management System (RMS) is the key.

The system enables lifecycle management of records with rules-based record disposition and retention policies, ensuring compliance with internal policies and other statutory regulations. And, it helps manage social media records across Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and other social channels. To simplify records management and help government agencies choose the right system, here is a five-step guide for effective records management:

1. Full records management capabilities: In the current state, there is a multitude of information being generated across various channels, be it in form of documents, pictures, videos, social content or other. In order to manage this overwhelming amount of information, government agencies need to implement a robust records management system with a complete set of RM capabilities, from records retention, migration, back upto disposition. And, the system should also allow for physical records management, email management, extensive searching and reporting of records.

2. Taxonomy management: According to an IDC research, an organization with 1000 knowledge workers wastes $48,000 per week or about $2.5 million per year to locate and retrieve information. Government institutions can significantly improve accessibility to records by standardising the way in which folders and records are named. With defined structure and numbering policy, institutions can search and retrieve information at a faster rate. Another point to be considered here is information security and the record retention period. Information security can be ensured by granting rights-based access to specific folders or records. Agencies at national and state level need to set retention policies for records, which may vary depending on the criticality of records.

3. Compliant records management: When opting for a records management system, it is important to ensure that the systemis compliant with open standards and other ISO standards. With the right processes in place, organisations can ensure that records are managed and retrieved in a prudent and compliant way.

4. Physical storage management: With agencies having a huge volume of records, dating back decades, it is essential thatthe RM system supports physical storage management as well. Physical storage management of records should allow for records integration with RFID/Barcode, ensuring easy record management and transfer, physical location management including warehouse, box and shelf management and end-to-end records management for active records and disposal of inactive ones.

5. Integration and Extensibility: It is vital to ensure that the system chosen for records management has strong integration capabilities with support for web services, Java based API, and URL-based integration. Considering the pace at which the nation is going digital, capabilities for content analytics, email management, and social content management and a cloud-ready architecture is what one should bet on.

The five-step guide can help government institutions reduce the risk of data loss, create a fool-proof records management strategy and adopt the right system to address the current challenges. With the government working towards fostering a culture of transparency and citizen-centric administration through various initiatives, efficient records management will serve as the basis for effective service delivery and public accountability.

By Virender Jeet, Sr. Vice President, Technology, Newgen Software Technologies Limited

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