Agencies batten down the access hatches

Agencies batten down the access hatches


The GCN Reader Survey is intended to provide data on trends and product preferences. This survey on security is based on a telephone survey of 100 government readers who on their subscription forms identified themselves as IT or systems managers.

After the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, most government agencies beefed up IT systems security, a GCN telephone survey found.

Some 62 percent of managers we polled said their agencies' computer security concerns and strategies had changed as a result of the attacks.

Two-thirds reported that their agencies had tightened access to systems, and nearly half'45 percent'said their organizations had taken information offline or restricted the data put online.

Most managers in the survey reported at least a heightened awareness of security threats since the attacks.

'We're more proactive in contingency planning,' said an Agriculture Department branch chief in Washington.

'We've expanded security guidelines,' said a Defense Information Systems Agency systems programmer in San Antonio.

'We have stricter security procedures,' said an Air Force development test manager in Kent, Wash.

The majority of managers, 81 percent, said their agencies have formal security awareness programs and more than half, 57 percent, reported that those programs were very effective.

Only 4 percent said their programs weren't very effective.

Nearly all'96 percent'of managers we talked with said their agencies' password policies were generally effective.

Asked what percentage of their agency's annual IT budgets is devoted to security, two-thirds said spending was 9 percent or less. Most put spending in the 4 percent to 6 percent range.

Half of those surveyed said their agencies have virtual private networks.

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