HYDERABAD: Hackers could easily have accessed data stored by key State government departments, officials of the Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITE&C) department recently revealed after an inspection of the State administration’s digital infrastructure. The vulnerabilities have now been addressed, officials added.
The inspection, taken up after the ransomware attack on TSSPDCL, revealed that departments such as the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) were vulnerable to threats as they stored data on their own servers, and not with the State Data Centre (SDC) located in Gachibowli. Most departments store their digital framework data at the SDC, which officials say is highly protected. But a few relied on in-house servers, which they did not have enough manpower or expertise to handle.
“We often found that these servers had no backup or firewall. There were no full-time experts — but only part-timers — to look after them, which is wrong. Server maintenance is a full-time job,” an ITE&C official said, adding that many such servers have now been moved to the State data hub, and even more have been shut down.
The officials also found that many departments used TCS’ data centres and hired other private servers, which cost them huge sums of money. They recommended shifting the data to the SDC, where storing information is free.
Many departments had bought their own servers before the SDC was formed, an official explained. The ACB, meanwhile, had opted for its own server since it deals with sensitive and secret information.
Secret info still with ACB
The ACB still has its own server, but ITE&C officials moved its non-sensitive data to the SDC, framed a policy, and trained ACB officials in maintaining a server