Survey: Laptop security risks top CISO issues

The federal government has joined the mobility revolution, and the security risk created by an explosion in the use of laptop PCs by federal workers is now the biggest issue facing federal chief information security officers, according to a new survey.

The task of securing mobile computers is the no. 1 priority for federal chief information security officers, said 63 percent of the CISOs questioned in the survey, 'Remote Control ' Federal CISOs Dish on Mobility, Telework and Data Security,' released yesterday by the for-profit Telework Exchange partnership between the public and private sector.

Eighty-three percent of federal CISOs surveyed said laptop 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, according to 94 percent of the federal CISOs surveyed.

Mobile computing and telework programs do not interfere with the meeting security requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act, 83 percent of respondents said. The same number ' 83 percent ' recommended the 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 of all federal workers and recommended an audit to identify those federal employees working from alternate sites, as well as 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 in the U.S. government and was sponsored by Hewlett-Packard Co.

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