Government orders its employees not to use Google Drive, Dropbox, VPN

The central government has ordered its employees not to use third-party, non-government cloud platforms including Google Drive and Dropbox, and services of Virtual Private Network (VPN) including Nord VPN and Express VPN.

Gadgets 360 has learned that this order from the National Informatics Center (NIC) has been sent to all ministries and departments and all government employees are required to follow the instructions. The government’s new move comes weeks after it directed VPN service providers and data center companies to store their users’ data for 5 years.

A 10-page document accessed by Gadgets 360 shows that employees will not upload or save any internal, restricted, confidential government data or files to any non-government cloud service. This document named ‘Cyber ​​Security Guidelines for Government Employees’ specifically points to Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

Government orders its employees not to use Google Drive, Dropbox, VPN

Apart from banning the use of these popular cloud services for government employees, the government has directed that employees should not use any third-party unknown services and VPNs including NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Tor, and Proxy. Employees have also been instructed to avoid using “unauthorized remote tools” such as TeamViewer, AnyDesk, and Ammyy Admin.

Government employees have been asked not to use external email services for official communication and not to use unauthorized third-party video conferencing tools in sensitive internal meetings.

The employees have also been ordered to convert or compress any document.

Do not use any external website or cloud-based services. Employees have been asked not to use any external mobile app-based service, including CamScanner, for scanning government documents. Significantly, in the year 2020 itself, the government banned Camscanner as part of its initial move to ban China-based apps. However, it was seen that some government officials were still using the app to scan physical copies of their official documents.

Employees have been instructed to enter hard passwords in the phones and update the passwords within 45 days as well as update the operating system and BIOS firmware with the latest updates and security patches. Along with government employees, this decision will also have to be followed by contract, outsourced and temporary employees.

Sunil Kumar writes about smartphones and laptops for Gadgets 360 Tech News based out of Mumbai. He is Deputy Editor (Reviews) at Gadgets 360 Tech News. He has written frequently about the smartphone and PC industry and has an interest in photography as well.

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