02:03 PM
Connect Directly

Feds Fail To Secure Mobile Devices

New study finds one-third of government workers use public WiFi and one-fourth don't password-protect the devices.

The federal government may have specific policies for security, but many of its users aren't adopting secure mobile practices and behaviors, according to a new study by the Mobile Work Exchange.

The public-private partnership's study, which was commissioned by Cisco Systems, is based on data gathered from the Mobile Work Exchange's self-assessment tool for organizations to measure the security of their mobile workforce. The report focused on tablets, smartphones, and laptops, and found that 90% of government users who were assessed by the tool use at least one of those devices for work.

More than 40% of government users are putting their agencies and devices at risk, according to the report, which encompassed 155 users and 30 different government agencies, mostly civilian. On the flip side, 86% lock their computers when they leave their desks and 78% store files in a secure place.

More than 30% use public wireless networks, the study found, 52% don't use multifactor authentication or encrypt their data, and 25% don't use passwords for their mobile devices

Read the rest of this story on Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
1/15/2014 | 2:33:58 PM
Careful with the numbers
The warning from this report is fair.  Whether the magnitude of the problem is correct is another story.  These public-private research reports need to be viewed carefully as the numbers, and nature of respondents, is hardly statistically representative of government employees.

The fine print reveals: This report "reflects the calculator inputs of 155 individual government responses and 30 agency responses...and 97 individual and 24 organization responses from the private sector.  You can download the full study, by registering, which is the less obvious point of these research projects, at

Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Ninja
1/15/2014 | 3:38:37 PM
Re: Careful with the numbers
Are these figures really any different than those in the private sector?
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest September 7, 2015
Some security flaws go beyond simple app vulnerabilities. Have you checked for these?
Flash Poll
Containing Corporate Data on Mobile Devices
Containing Corporate Data on Mobile Devices
If you’re still focused on securing endpoints, you’ve got your work cut out for you. WiFi network provider iPass surveyed 1,600 mobile workers and found that the average US employee carries three devices -- a smartphone, a computer, and a tablet or e-reader -- with more than 80% of them doing work on personal devices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2015-10-05
system/session/drivers/cookie.php in Anchor CMS 0.9.x allows remote attackers to conduct PHP object injection attacks and execute arbitrary PHP code via a crafted serialized object in a cookie.

Published: 2015-10-05
The Secure Meeting (Pulse Collaboration) in Pulse Connect Secure (formerly Juniper Junos Pulse) before 7.1R22.1, 7.4, 8.0 before 8.0R11, and 8.1 before 8.1R3 provides different messages for attempts to join a meeting depending on the status of the meeting, which allows remote attackers to enumerate ...

Published: 2015-10-05
The Secure Meeting (Pulse Collaboration) in Pulse Connect Secure (formerly Juniper Junos Pulse) before 7.1R22.1, 7.4, 8.0 before 8.0R11, and 8.1 before 8.1R3 allows remote authenticated users to bypass intended access restrictions and log into arbitrary meetings by leveraging a meeting id and meetin...

Published: 2015-10-05
Heap-based buffer overflow in the parse_string function in libs/esl/src/esl_json.c in FreeSWITCH before 1.4.23 and 1.6.x before 1.6.2 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a trailing \u in a json string to cJSON_Parse.

Published: 2015-10-05
Unrestricted file upload in GLPI before 0.85.3 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary code by adding a file with an executable extension as an attachment to a new ticket, then accessing it via a direct request to the file in files/_tmp/.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What can the information security industry do to solve the IoT security problem? Learn more and join the conversation on the next episode of Dark Reading Radio.