Survey: Federal Executives Believe Cybersecurity Measures Hurting Agency Productivity

Citrix Systems Inc. recently announced key findings from a recently conducted survey on the impact of government cybersecurity measures on federal managers.

The Obama administration has made cybersecurity a priority in the federal government, but many federal executives find they are inhibited by cybersecurity at their agency in the areas of information access, computing functionality, and mobility.  Executives report that obstacles caused by cybersecurity measures translate into a reduction of productivity and their ability to achieve their agency's mission.

"The study spotlights the significant trade-off agencies are making in implementing cybersecurity measures which negatively affect workforce productivity," said Bryan Klopack, director of research for GBC. "Surveyed federal executives believe that cybersecurity policies and procedures should be modified to provide more emphasis on the importance of allowing federal managers to achieve their agency's mission."

Key findings from the study include:

  • A majority of federal executives (84 percent) report that cybersecurity measures are affecting their productivity. Key challenges they cite include: discouraging mobility, inhibiting access to information, reducing computer functionality and response time.
  • More than half of respondents (56 percent) indicated that cybersecurity restrictions prevent them from getting information or using applications related to their job.
  • When cybersecurity restrictions prevent federal executives from accessing information they need for their job, they regularly resort to alternative – and often less secure – methods of accessing it.
  • Lack of access and diminished computer performance as a result of cybersecurity negatively impacts productivity for federal executives.  Over half of those surveyed report that cybersecurity restrictions have prompted them to access information from home instead of the office.

"This survey makes clear the challenges the public sector faces every day when it comes to the delicate balance of cybersecurity and productivity," said Tom Simmons, area vice president - US public sector with Citrix Systems. "Today, there is really no need for any trade-off, particularly when we consider the availability of secure, FIPS-compliant, Common Criteria-certified virtualization technologies. Industry can truly help government realize high-level data security with no loss of performance, mobility or productivity."

"Balancing the need for effective security solutions while maintaining employee productivity is clearly a challenge for many Federal agencies today," said Jason Kimrey, area director, Intel Federal.  "At Intel, we are working to enhance automated security features in both hardware and software that provide users with a higher level of security without negatively impacting performance."


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