Federal Executives Believe Cybersecurity Measures Are Hurting Agency Productivity
A recent study on the impact of government cybersecurity measures on federal managers has shown that the measures put in place by the federal government have inhibited access to information and functionality and are preventing government executives from doing their jobs effectively.
While the Obama administration has increased cybersecurity efforts in the federal government, many federal executives find they are inhibited by cybersecurity at their agency in the areas of information access, computing functionality, and mobility. According to the survey released today by Citrix Systems, 73 percent indicated that obstacles caused by cybersecurity restrictions created challenges in their working environment, resulting in a reduction of productivity and their ability to achieve their agency’s mission. Only 16 percent of federal executives surveyed said that they are not inhibited by their agency’s cybersecurity restrictions. Additionally, although the administration recently has placed an increased emphasis on promoting employee mobility, many say current policies discourage them from working while outside the office.
“The study spotlights the significant trade-off agencies are making in implementing cybersecurity measures which negatively affect workforce productivity,” said Bryan Klopack, Director of Research for GBC. “Surveyed federal executives believe that cybersecurity policies and procedures should be modified to provide more emphasis on the importance of allowing federal managers to achieve their agency’s mission.”
Key findings from the study include:
• A majority of federal executives (84%) report that cybersecurity measures are affecting their productivity. Key challenges they cite include: discouraging mobility, inhibiting access to information, reducing computer functionality and response time.
• Over half of respondents (56%) indicated that cybersecurity restrictions prevent them from getting information or using applications related to their job.
• When cybersecurity restrictions prevent federal executives from accessing information they need for their job, they regularly resort to alternative – and often less secure – methods of accessing it.
• Lack of access and diminished computer performance as a result of cybersecurity negatively impacts productivity for federal executives. Over half of those surveyed report that cybersecurity restrictions have prompted them to access information from home instead of the office.
“This survey makes clear the challenges the public sector faces every day when it comes to the delicate balance of cybersecurity and productivity,” said Tom Simmons, area vice president – US Public Sector, Citrix Systems, Inc. “Today, there is really no need for any trade-off, particularly when we consider the availability of secure, FIPS-compliant, Common Criteria-certified virtualization technologies. Industry can truly help government realize high-level data security with no loss of performance, mobility or productivity.”
“Balancing the need for effective security solutions while maintaining employee productivity is clearly a challenge for many Federal agencies today,” said Jason Kimrey, area director, Intel Federal.
Federal executives believe access to information is the most important factor to consider when contemplating changes to cybersecurity policy. It follows, then, that respondents most frequently identify access to information as inhibited by cybersecurity measures at their agency. In addition to information access, federal executives believe a host of considerations—including response time, agency mission, and computing functionality—should be taken into account to improve cybersecurity policies in the federal space.
The complete survey results can be downloaded at http://www.govexec.com/gbc/CyberProductivity/
Related: CYBERCOM Will Miss Fully Operational October 1st Deadline
Related: Web 2.0 – Should Businesses Block or Embrace?