India Bans VPN and Cloud Services for Govt Employees

New reports suggest that India has banned third-party VPN and cloud services for government employees, weeks after popular VPN services such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark VPN announced their plans to exit India operations due to the Indian government's new VPN policy.

According to The Economic Times, the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has issued guidelines to improve the government's "security posture." Government employees are prohibited from using VPN services as well as non-government cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox, according to the new "Cyber Security Guidelines for Government Employees."

“In order to sensitize the government employees and contracted/outsourced resources and build awareness amongst them on what to do and what not to do from a cyber security perspective, these guidelines have been compiled,” reads the document viewed by ET.


Furthermore, the government wants employees to stop scanning internal government documents with external mobile app-based scanner services like CamScanner. CamScanner, along with TikTok, was one of the many Chinese apps that were banned in India in July 2020. Employees have also been advised not to root or jailbreak their phones by the government.

“All government employees, including temporary, contractual, and outsourced resources, are required to strictly adhere to the guidelines mentioned in this document. Any non-compliance may be acted upon by the respective CISOs/Department heads,” the note added.


Apart from these, the guidelines are said to include general security best practices such as using complex passwords and changing them every 45 days. If you've been living under a rock, this is the most recent development since India announced its new VPN policy, which takes effect on June 28. 

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