Majority of Federal Employees Go Beyond Mandatory IT Security Requirements

Security Requirements Often Hinder Employee Access to Agency Information Outside of the Office

WASHINGTON--()--Most Federal employees go beyond baseline IT security requirements, according to a new survey by the Government Business Council, the research division of Government Executive Media Group, and CDW Government LLC (CDW-G), a leading provider of technology solutions to government, education and healthcare customers. While 97 percent of Federal employees are required by their agencies to use authentication measures such as passwords, security tokens and biometric identifiers, most take still more security precautions to protect agency data. Respondents noted that they proactively lock their screens when they are away from their computers and only use secure network connections and agency-issued machines to further secure information.

“Today’s cybercriminals have multiple routes for illegally acquiring information, whether by stealing physical machines, tapping into unsecure wireless networks or propagating malware,” said Andy Lausch, vice president of federal for CDW-G. “Federal employees – the majority of whom spend at least some time each week working remotely – keenly understand that they must take extra steps to secure confidential and sensitive agency data.”

The survey, underwritten by CDW-G in partnership with HP, conducted in September 2010, captured the views of 230 randomly selected Federal defense and civilian decision makers. The survey can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/dYjqkR.

Respondents said they were more likely to undertake additional security precautions inside the office than outside of it. Eighty-six percent said that IT security measures have prevented them from being able to access the information they need to be productive while working remotely. Most agreed agencies could improve the functionality, responsiveness and ease-of-use of IT offerings provided outside of the office.

“Enabling access to information while ensuring it is secure is a delicate balance that agencies grapple with every day,” said Christina Morrison, public sector marketing manager, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Fortunately, advancements in security and mobility technologies can enable near-seamless computing for remote employees. Employees can not only accomplish the business of government from anywhere and at any time, but also with the same level of productivity as if they were in the office.”

Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they work outside their regular offices, and of those, 59 percent work offsite at least weekly. While away from their regular offices, respondents perform routine tasks including checking work-related e-mail; reading, composing or sending work-related documents; and participating in work-related calls. Seventy-one percent of respondents said that they are eligible for telework. In addition to working from home or a telework center, respondents said they work remotely while in transit to work, at another agency’s office, from program sites and while traveling.

“Cybersecurity becomes even more important as agencies work to expand teleworking and continuity of operations capabilities,” said Bryan Klopack, director, Government Business Council. “Even training employees on basic security techniques, such as logging off of a network when they are not using it, can go a long way toward minimizing cybersecurity risks.”

About CDW-G

A wholly owned subsidiary of CDW LLC, ranked No. 38 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies, CDW Government LLC (CDW-G) is a leading provider of technology solutions to government, education and healthcare customers. The company features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company’s technology specialists and engineers offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include notebooks, desktops, printers, servers and storage, unified communications, security, wireless, power and cooling, networking, software licensing and mobility solutions.

For more information about CDW-G product offerings, procurement options, service and solutions, call 1.800.808.4239, email cdwgsales@cdwg.com or visit the CDW-G Web site at CDWG.com.

About Government Business Council (GBC)

As Government Executive Media Group's research intelligence division, Government Business Council is dedicated to advancing the business of government through analysis, insight and analytical independence. As an extension of Government Executive's 40 years of exemplary editorial standards and a commitment to the highest ethical values, GBC studies influential decision-makers from across the federal government to produce intelligence-based research and analysis.

About Government Executive Media Group

Government Executive Media Group is the premier media resource for federal managers. The magazine and related online and event properties cover the entire spectrum of management challenges confronting federal executives in civilian and defense agencies. Government Executive Media Group recently introduced Nextgov.com, a web site focusing on technology-based business solutions for government. For more information, visit www.GovernmentExecutive.com or www.nextgov.com.

Contacts

For CDW-G:
CDW-G Public Relations
Kelly Caraher, 847-968-0729
kellyc@cdw.com
or
O’Keeffe & Company
Gail Repsher Emery, 301-789-5340
gemery@okco.com
or
For GBC:
Government Business Council
Bryan Klopack, 202-266-7122
bklopack@govexec.com

Release Summary

Most Federal employees go beyond baseline IT security requirements, says new survey by the Government Business Council and CDW-G.

Contacts

For CDW-G:
CDW-G Public Relations
Kelly Caraher, 847-968-0729
kellyc@cdw.com
or
O’Keeffe & Company
Gail Repsher Emery, 301-789-5340
gemery@okco.com
or
For GBC:
Government Business Council
Bryan Klopack, 202-266-7122
bklopack@govexec.com