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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

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