FCW Insider

Blog archive

Want fool-proof security? Shut off the network

Some readers are concerned that more and more network managers are dealing with cybersecurity threats by simply making it impossible for end users to work online.

No one would argue that agencies need to reduce their exposure to online cyber threats. But is it really in an agency’s best interest to take employees off the grid (or nearly so)?

“We've nearly perfected security,” writes one reader. “Every time a new e-mail comes in, Outlook stops working to scan it. It may take 10 minutes to write three lines, but our security is good.”

The question is whether security experts are settling for draconian network policies in lieu of identifying policies and technology that would enable employees to work online without compromising agency systems.

“One thing every security weenie should understand is that PERFECT security is attainable only by shutting down the operation you support,” writes M. “Your job is to secure the fully functioning operation, and NOT hobble or disable it.”

Those are strong words, but what do you think? Check out the conversation here.

You can also read more about the FCW Challenge here.

Here are the other topics up for debate:

Government social networks are Towers of Babel, doomed to topple.

The Open-Government Plan is Vaporware 2.0.

Acquisition 2.0 will give ethics officers the heebie-jeebies.

A mandate for the cloud is wishing for pie in the sky.

The federal workplace will never change. Telework? Fuggedaboudit!

Posted on May 14, 2010 at 12:18 PM


FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1986, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

  • Shutterstock image.

    Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding

    A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

  • General Frost

    Army wants cyber capability everywhere

    The Army's cyber director said cyber, electronic warfare and information operations must be integrated into warfighters' doctrine and training.

  • Rising Star 2013

    Meet the 2016 Rising Stars

    FCW honors 30 early-career leaders in federal IT.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group