nexus 1 in 3 federal government smartphone users ignore password protection

One in three US federal government staff who use their personal smartphones for work-related tasks do not have password protection in place, according to a study by Telework Exchange.

One in three US federal government staff who use their personal smartphones for work-related tasks do not have password protection in place, according to a study by Telework Exchange.

 
The 2013 Digital Dilemma Report, sponsored by EMC, VMware, Cisco, and Carahsoft, showed a surprising negligence to basic device security among those working in federal government. 
 
The survey showed that more than half of smartphone users in federal government use their personal smartphone for work, but only two-thirds of them use passwords to protect the potentially sensitive data they are dealing with.
 
The report also found that 85 percent of federal employees have downloaded an app on their personal smartphone or tablet that makes the device more open to attack. With malware attacks rising by a whopping 185 percent in less than a year, according to a GAO report, government employees need to become less complacent about mobile security.
 
nexus 1 in 3 federal government smartphone users ignore password protection
 
The Departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, the Interior, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Defence performed significantly better than other government departments on password protection, multi-factor authentication, secure remote connection, remote data deletion, global positioning system trackers, and biometrics.
 
However, the study found that progress needs to be made on policies for employees using their own personal devices in the workplace, particularly as this is likely to be a growing phenomenon, with 95 percent of those surveyed reporting increased productivity as a result of having access to mobile devices.
 
“IT transformation, helped by the adoption of mobile computing, is at an all time high within the Federal government. As more Federal employees introduce their own smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to work, managing these devices over an IT infrastructure they can trust becomes crucial,” said Kyle Keller, federal cloud business director at EMC Corporation. “Implementation of policy, training and technology will be necessary to ensure the best security and control in this new era of increased mobility.”