PANJIM: In what could be a major relief to those government departments that still do not have installed SSL (Secured Socket Layer) certificate on its websites, the Information Tech Corporation of Goa Ltd has extended the deadline by another month, till April-end.
Based on directives of the Ministry of Communications, the government websites - considered to be the first interface for the citizens to avail e-governance services - had to get SSL certificate installed. The ITG sent written communiqué and reminders to every department to ensure their websites have the SSL certificate by March 31, 2019 failing which it would not be accessible to the public from April 1, 2019.
Sources said several departments have complied with the directives barring around half a dozen owing to certain issues. “These departments, which have not set up the SSL certificate, are in the process of complying with the order. We have nonetheless extended the deadline till April 30, 2019,” an officer said.
Having SSL certificate increases privacy and security of the websites, and a padlock in the address bar in the browser indicates that website is secure. The central government, in October 2018 had observed that many websites either do not have certificates or have wrongly configured certificates. It also came to the notice of the ministry that some SSL certificates are not renewed.
“SSL increases the trust of citizens over the use of government websites,” a source said adding that in Goa, all the government websites are hosted in the data centre only after security auditing by CERT-In empanelled auditor.
An expert in the ITG explained that SSL is the second layer of security for these websites, which are already covered by CERT-In. “SSL is particularly for those websites dealing with transactions to ensure that data is not seen by unauthorized persons and neither the details are leaked. Although all our government websites have undergone security audit, we are insisting that these also have the SSL certificates installed,” he said. The department is also in the process of migrating all the websites from the old to the new data centre.