Federal Government Employees Don’t Trust Agency Cyber Security

I guess it should not come as a big surprise as there are more hacks and breaches, but the degree of lost confidence by federal government employees in the last two years is still staggering.

Dell conducted a survey of federal government employees in 2014 and again this year and the numbers are amazing.

  • In 2014, 65 percent of respondents felt either confident or very confident in the ability of their department to protect information systems from cyber breaches.  This year that number is 35 percent – a 30 point drop.
  • In 2014, 58 percent felt confident or very confident in their agency’s ability to protect their personal information.  That number is now 28%.  Basically, only one in four federal employees thought their agency could protect their personal data.
  • Not surprisingly, they felt the biggest risk to security was malware, followed by phishing attacks.
  • They also thought hacktivists were a bigger risk than nation states.  Insiders – like Edward Snowden – ranked near the bottom.
  • In 2014, about 15 percent thought their agencies were making good progress towards using the Internet of Things.  Now that number is around 10 percent.
  • Only 38 percent said that their agencies were adapting their cybersecurity standards toward IoT; 19 percent said that was a priority.
  • Not surprisingly, the three biggest reasons for this mess were: Budget (58%), Procurement process (49%) and bureaucracy (44%).

While some of this statistics are not a surprise and maybe just a realization that they were way too optimistic before, it is a little scary that only a third – or less – of the senior government employees interviewed thought their data – and by association – your data – was safe.

Next time the government asks you for some data, give that a thought.

Information for this post came from Fierce Government IT.

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