In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, government agencies needed to be highly nimble in enabling remote workforces, which continues on today.
According to a recent Government Business Council survey, approximately three-quarters of federal workers remain in telework status, and 60 percent expect to continue remote working for at least another six months. “This dynamic poses two primary challenges: the Human Element and the cybersecurity aspects,” explained John Grim, Head of Research at the Verizon Threat Research Advisory Center. “Threat actors are well aware of the potential they have here. Sensitizing employees to threat actor tactics – email phishing, fake websites, and fraud tactics – coupled with using VPNs, multi-factor authentication, and a strong password policy among other measures – can go a long way in reducing threat actor impact.”
With the pandemic going through a second wave in many parts of the U.S., government agencies need to develop strategies for enabling longer-term remote working, while also being able to deliver on the mission.
This was the key theme of a recent Government Technology Insider podcast interview with Todd Krautkremer, CMO of Cradlepoint, who also discussed what innovations agencies should consider for remote mission success in disbursed environments.
“Government agencies’ worlds have changed as much as other organizations by being disbursed and needing to work from home,” said Krautkremer. “Working from home in a government context is very challenging, especially since they are providing vital roles to serve citizens and the mission.”
The right innovations can play a major role in enabling government success in the ongoing “new normal.”
“The stakes are different for government agencies and they need to think differently about the technologies they deploy,” added Krautkremer. “What we are starting to see is that IT needs to extend the same infrastructure that they use in the office to the remote workforce. In addition, many of our government customers are using LTE, which is reliable, fast and can be operational and managed by IT teams.”
Finally, Krautkremer discussed how security will be an ongoing consideration for remote government. “You can’t secure what you can’t control, and if you take a PC home and plug into the Internet, it introduces many new threat vectors into an organization,” said Krautkremer. “The idea of having a separate, secure and dedicated connection into the home cannot be understated as the foundation for securing that infrastructure.”
“Since remote access has not been protected like a critical business asset, we are now seeing DoD, federal, and state and local agencies preparing for these types of attacks,” said Allan Russell, Senior Manager Public Sector Security at Verizon.
Listen to the full episode below.