Federal Security Officers Say Telecommuting Is Safe, But Want Better Mobile Security

A study reports that 83% of federal CISOs have strong interest in mobile endpoint certification for compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act.



An overwhelming majority of federal information security chiefs do not consider telework, or telecommuting, programs a security threat, but most would like to see improvements to mobile security, according to a study released Monday.

Telework ExchangeSM, a public-private partnership, found that 94% of federal chief information security officers don't think telework programs are a threat to security. Still, 63% said that securing mobile devices is their top priority, according to the study (PDF), which Hewlett-Packard supported.

The study, "Remote Control -- Federal CISOs Dish on Mobility, Telework, and Data Security," reported that 83% of federal CISOs expressed strong interest in mobile endpoint certification for compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act.

Eighty-three percent of the federal CISOs who responded reported an increase in laptop use in the last year, and 17% said laptops represent half their agencies' computers. Results are based on a survey of 35 of the federal government's 117 CISOs.

Eighty-eight percent of federal CISOs provide input for their agencies' telework programs, according to the study. The same percentage said telework, or mobile computing, doesn't hamper their abilities to meet FISMA requirements.

Eric Brennan, director of Personal Systems Group Solutions Marketing for HP, said the study supports the idea that, "when agencies establish telework programs with proper security training, support, and equipment, federal employees can safely benefit from more work/life balance, freedom, and cost-savings from reduced commute times." Federal CISOs recommended improvements for data security, including employee training, auditing of off-site workers, and a method for ensuring that all telework-eligible employees are working within an official program.

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