Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Gopala Krishna Behara

News Feed Item

Half of All Federal Agency Security Breaches Caused by Lack of User Compliance; Harsh Security Standards May Lead to More Security Breaches

MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, today announced the results of its new report, “Cyber Security Experience: Cyber Security Pros from Mars; Users from Mercury.” The study, underwritten by Akamai Technologies, Inc., compares what cyber security professionals report about their agency’s security with what end users – Federal workers – actually experience. According to the report, agencies often fail to take the user experience into account when deploying cyber security solutions. As a direct result, end users often circumvent security measures and open their agencies up to data theft, data loss, and denial-of-service attacks.

Federal agencies regularly battle very real cyber threats including international cyber attacks, denial-of-service attacks, hackers, and data theft. However, few Federal cyber security professionals feel completely prepared for these threats – 74 percent say they are not prepared for an international cyber attack, 74 percent say they are not prepared to support secure access for mobile devices, 70 percent are not prepared for a denial-of-service attack, and 70 percent are not prepared to secure cloud computing environments. Prepared or not, these cyber attacks show no signs of slowing – half of cyber security professionals say their agency is likely to be the victim of a denial-of-service attack in the next 12 months.

As a result of the numerous cyber threats, cyber security professionals are focused on keeping data secure but fail to prioritize the user experience. Seventy-four percent of cyber security professionals say their top priority is preventing data theft followed by ensuring a thorough web security strategy (56 percent), maintaining and upgrading security systems (55 percent), deploying the most up-to-date cyber security protocols (54 percent), and mitigating denial-of-service attacks (53 percent). Ensuring a user-friendly experience across all security applications comes in last on cyber security professionals’ list of priorities with only 40 percent reporting it as a top concern.

As security measures become less user friendly, they also become less effective. Cyber security professionals estimate that almost half (49 percent) of all agency security breaches are caused by a lack of user compliance. These breaches are frequent with half of cyber security professionals reporting they witness a breach in their agency’s security policies at least once a week. According to cyber security professionals, the most challenging end user applications to secure are email, external websites, and the internet from agency work stations. These are the same tools that more than 80 percent of end users rely on daily.

Not only do end users experience challenges with the applications they use daily, many of the activities they must perform as part of their daily work also cause frustration. The activities that cyber security professionals say are the most likely to cause a security breach are the same activities where end users run into the most frustrating security measures. The top areas for cyber security professionals’ concern and end users’ frustration are surfing the internet, downloading files, accessing networks, and transferring files.

“More security rules, more security tasks, and more security delays have done little to drive more user buy-in for cyber security,” said Tom Ruff, vice president public sector, Akamai. “Without question, Federal cyber security pros have a tough job, but they must start working with end users as partners instead of adversaries. It is a team game, and better support for users will deliver better results for security.”

End users say cyber security measures hinder their productivity and as a result admit to breaking protocol. Sixty-six percent of end users believe the security protocols at their agency are burdensome and time-consuming. Sixty-nine percent say at least some portion of their work takes longer than it should due to security measures. Nearly one in five end users can recall an instance where they were unable to complete a work assignment on time because of a security measure. As a result, 31 percent of end users say they use some kind of security work around at least once a week.

Despite frustrations, end users and cyber security professionals agree that cyber security should be a top priority for Federal agencies. Ninety-five percent of cyber security professionals and end users agree that the deployment of cyber security measures is an absolute necessity to protect agencies from cyber threats such as data loss, data theft, and denial-of-service attacks. Almost all (98 percent) say keeping agency networks and data secure is everyone’s responsibility.

“Cyber Security Experience: Cyber Security Pros from Mars; Users from Mercury” is based on an online survey of 100 cyber professionals and 100 end users in August 2013. The report has a margin of error of +/- 9.78 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full study, please visit http://www.meritalk.com/cybersecurityexperience.

About MeriTalk

The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Focusing on government’s hot-button issues, MeriTalk hosts Big Data Exchange, Cloud Computing Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange, and Data Center Exchange – platforms dedicated to supporting public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 85,000 government community contacts. For more information, visit www.meritalk.com or follow us on Twitter, @meritalk. MeriTalk is a 300Brand organization.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...