Agencies with strong IT security training programs are more likely to detect and prevent insider threats.
HERNDON, Virginia – March 5, 2019 – SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI), a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today revealed the findings of its fifth Federal Cybersecurity Survey.*
“This year’s results demonstrate the challenges facing government IT security pros, but also the progress they’ve made in meeting those challenges,” said Jim Hansen, VP of Products, Security and Cloud, SolarWinds. “The risk posed by careless untrained insiders and foreign governments is at an all-time high, yet for the most part, IT pros feel like their agencies are doing good jobs with their IT security. In particular, they believe that government mandates and investments in training are paying dividends.”
2019 Key Findings for the Federal Sector
IT security threats posed by careless/untrained insiders and foreign governments have risen substantially over the last five years.
Contractors and temporary workers present unique IT security challenges to government agencies.
Government IT pros rely on training, access control, and monitoring to manage contractor risk.
Respondents that rate their organizations’ IT training highly are more likely to indicate their ability to prevent and detect insider threats has improved or they have it under control.
IT security pros believe they are making progress managing risk due to government mandates, security tools, and best practices.
“The results of this year’s survey are encouraging, but there’s certainly more work to do,” said Mav Turner, VP of Product Strategy, SolarWinds. “In particular, agency IT professionals must continue to identify ways to improve security around contractors and temporary workers, who comprise a large population of the federal workforce, and insider and foreign threats continue to loom. Overall, agencies appear to be on the right track, with the right tools and policies in place—a trend we hope will continue into next year.”
“There is redundant and inefficient security on endpoints—specially desktops and notebooks. Traditional antivirus and scanning is not keeping up. It also adds tremendous processing overhead and degrades user experience. New ways of delivering security, such as network analytics and threat detection via AI, must be considered soon.”
- IT Director, U.S. Army
“Interest in IT security occurs only after an incident. Then after the dust settles (investigations, reviews, numerous warning and alert memos), it’s back to the same business as usual. No true concrete steps are taken, in my opinion.”
- Directorate Executive, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
“Security guidance needs to be produced internally much faster—how to take external direction and policy and provide guidance to program managers, operators, and developers. Now the solutions are being implemented with a best guess and the guidance comes next, leading to either compliance failures or the need to redo everything.”
- IT Director, Department of Defense
*In December 2018 and January 2019, independent research firm Market Connections, Inc. surveyed 200 IT security professionals in U.S. federal civilian and defense agencies on behalf of SolarWinds. Full survey results are available upon request.
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