Survey: Laptop security is CISOs' big headache

CISOs' top security worries

What represents the most serious security threat?

Lack of data security training for all employees: 37%

Lack of appropriate data security tools/technologies: 26%

Employees working at home at nights and on weekends outside an official telework program: 23%

Wireless networks: 9%

Source: Telework Exchange

Federal employees going mobile take security risks with them, resulting in the biggest concern facing federal chief information security officers, a new survey found.

The task of securing mobile computers is the top priority for federal CISOs, said 63 percent of CISOs questioned in the survey, 'Remote Control ' Federal CISOs Dish on Mobility, Telework and Data Security,' conducted by the for-profit Telework Exchange partnership between the public and private sector.

Eighty-three percent of federal CISOs surveyed said laptop PC use by federal workers is increasing, and 17 percent said laptops now account for half the computers in use at their agencies.

The rise in official telework programs, however, is not a threat to data security, 94 percent of the federal CISOs surveyed said.

Mobile computing and telework programs do not interfere with meeting security requirements of the Federal Information Security Manage- ment Act, 83 percent of
respondents said.

The same percentage recommended adoption of a program to certify compliance of mobile computing devices with FISMA requirements.

With the continued growth of data mobility, the majority of surveyed federal CISOs endorsed ongoing data security training for all federal workers and recommended an audit to identify those federal employees working from alternate sites, and the creation of a mechanism to ensure that all federal teleworkers are part of official programs.

The survey includes responses from 35 of the 117 federal CISOs and was sponsored by Hewlett-Packard.

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