It all began with Edward Snowden, the once loyal NSA contractor turned whistleblower. From there things seem to roll downhill. No longer can we hide our heads in the sand to ignore the fact that cybersecurity must be an internal and external process. As we learned in the Snowden incident, insiders are not exempt.
A recent survey, commissioned by the Fort Meade Alliance and conducted by Market Connections, Inc., focuses on the need to educate employees about the importance of cybersecurity. Aaron Boyd outlined the survey results in a recent Federal Times article, as follows:
- Not following proper cyber hygiene policies (“misuse”) was the No. 1 security concern among IT decision-makers, with 52 percent characterizing it as a “prolific” threat. Accidental leaks (i.e., copying the wrong person on an email) was fifth on the list, with 39 percent of respondents claiming it is an issue.
- Phishing, malware and spam tactics were second (49 percent), third (47 percent) and fourth (42 percent), respectively, among the most “prolific cyber threats plaguing” agencies. Data breaches and cyber espionage were further down the list, at 33 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
- Respondents ranked new security systems as the No. 1 investment opportunity in the coming year (66 percent), with employee training (61 percent) and implementation of new policies (57 percent) close behind.
- While 61 percent of those surveyed named training as an investment priority, this was significantly higher among IT managers on the defense side. Some 71 percent of respondents in the defense sector cited end-user training as a priority, compared to 55 percent among civilian agencies.
“Cyber security awareness training can help solve many of the challenges we face with protecting information technology assets and our government’s most sensitive information and mission-critical systems,” said Deon Viergutz, president of Fort Meade Alliance and Director Of Cyber Operations for Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions.
For more information regarding the Fort Meade Alliance survey, see the full Federal Times article.