Efficient software and hardware solutions for ‘work from home’ and a set of parameters defining the practice. The Centre, recognising that WFH is here to stay, has started industrywide consultations to make the process easier, more rigorously defined and more secure.
A senior government official who spoke off the record told ET: “There are two aspects to WFH. One, how to use technology to allow seamless experience… essentially an array of products… software suits and hardware that don’t compromise data security, and second, defining basic parameters of working from home.”
The telecom ministry and ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) are working on the first aspect, the department of personnel and training could work on the second.
Telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked telecom and IT ministries to talk to industry to identify roadblocks and discuss possible solutions. The government will encourage industry to design products, and then make policies around them, the official said.
MeitY has called for a meeting of major software and hardware companies and industry bodies on Monday. Internet and Mobile Association of India and Nasscom are among the invitees for the meeting which will be chaired by MeitY secretary Ajay Sawhney along with telecom secretary Anshu Prakash.
Secure Platform for Video Calls
The official explained: “When someone wants to work from home, the person has to use a dedicated machine which has dedicated hardware and software to eliminate security risks.” “To smoothen this process, make it seamless and easier for the user without compromising security is the first step…we are trying to work in a time-bound manner to come up with solutions,” the official added.
Cybersecurity experts have noted a sharp increase in concerns over data security among other concerns, as most of India Inc adopted WFH after the lockdown.
Using personal devices to access official documents and increased app downloads for Covid-19 related news or entertainment purposes have added to vulnerabilities that would otherwise have been detected in cyber-secured office premises.
This government effort comes in tandem with DoT and MeitY’s move to launch a challenge for Indians to come up with secure alternative video conferencing to platforms such as Zoom, which has been deemed unsafe by the MHA.
The contest has a prize money of ₹1 crore and is divided into three stages — ideation, prototype and solution building. The contest is open till April 30.