Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

Feds Issue Government Teleworker Security Guidelines

OMB rules apply to departments, agencies that must secure access to wireless networks and IT systems when employees work remotely.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
Protection of external IT systems and safeguarding wireless and other telecommunications capabilities that federal teleworkers use are among security guidelines the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has stipulated as part of the Obama administration's telework policy.

In a memo this week, the OMB released the guidelines to support activity made possible by the Federal Telework Act of 2010, signed in December by President Obama to codify an activity the federal government already was engaged in and beginning to embrace on a wider scale. The memo was directed at the heads of executive departments and agencies.

"Telework ... provides federal employees the ability to continue working during inclement weather, emergencies, or situations that may disrupt normal operations," OMB Director Jacob Lew wrote in the memo. "However, telework is only as effective as the technologies used to support it, which is why it is critical for agencies to take immediate action to ensure that their employees are properly equipped.

The two-page memo on security guidelines are a complement to a 41-page document of overall teleworking guidelines the OMB released in April to inform departments and agencies how to manage employees who are eligible for telework and choose to do so. That document put the task of coming up with security guidelines in the hands of the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Indeed, as part of the guidelines spelled out in the memo, agencies and departments also must comply with the requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, better known as FISMA, for which NIST develops standards and guidelines.

In addition to securing wired and wireless networks teleworkers might use while performing their federal duties, agencies also must address several other issues to ensure teleworkers are performing their tasks securely.

Agencies and departments must control access to agency information and IT systems while employees telework, and also protect agency information--including personally identifiable information--and IT systems, according to the memo.

Other guidelines they must follow include limiting the introduction of vulnerabilities and preventing inappropriate use of official time or resources that violate federal policies regarding the viewing of pornography--including child pornography--while at work.

To ensure the implementation of these policies, agency CIOS must appoint a technical point of contact to the DHS, according to the OMB.

Black Hat USA 2011 presents a unique opportunity for members of the security industry to gather and discuss the latest in cutting-edge research. It happens July 30-Aug. 4 in Las Vegas. Find out more and register.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
A Startup With NSA Roots Wants Silently Disarming Cyberattacks on the Wire to Become the Norm
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  5/11/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
Cybersecurity: What Is Truly Essential?
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5,  5/12/2021
Commentary
3 Cybersecurity Myths to Bust
Etay Maor, Sr. Director Security Strategy at Cato Networks,  5/11/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-18178
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
Path Traversal in HongCMS v4.0.0 allows remote attackers to view, edit, and delete arbitrary files via a crafted POST request to the component "/hcms/admin/index.php/language/ajax."
CVE-2020-20214
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
Mikrotik RouterOs 6.44.6 (long-term tree) suffers from an assertion failure vulnerability in the btest process. An authenticated remote attacker can cause a Denial of Service due to an assertion failure via a crafted packet.
CVE-2020-20222
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
Mikrotik RouterOs 6.44.6 (long-term tree) suffers from a memory corruption vulnerability in the /nova/bin/sniffer process. An authenticated remote attacker can cause a Denial of Service (NULL pointer dereference).
CVE-2020-20236
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
Mikrotik RouterOs 6.46.3 (stable tree) suffers from a memory corruption vulnerability in the /nova/bin/sniffer process. An authenticated remote attacker can cause a Denial of Service due to improper memory access.
CVE-2020-20237
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-18
Mikrotik RouterOs 6.46.3 (stable tree) suffers from a memory corruption vulnerability in the /nova/bin/sniffer process. An authenticated remote attacker can cause a Denial of Service due to improper memory access.