New WH memo outlines telework security guidelines

Agencies must control access to information systems, memo states

A senior Obama administration official is reminding federal agencies that they must comply with security guidelines while implementing the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010.

Jack Lew, Office of Management and Budget director, sent a memo to agency leaders July 15 stating that agencies are responsible under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) to “provide protection for information and information systems commensurate with risk.”

He said that agency CIOs must identify a technical manager to help carry out telework security requirements.

“If not properly implemented, telework may introduce new information security vulnerabilities into agency systems and networks,” Lew wrote. 


Related stories:

Like home-work boundaries? Loosecubes to the rescue.

Agencies can ask teleworkers to work during hurricanes


He also said that agencies must continue to follow Office of Management and Budget policies, National Institute of Standards and Technology standards and guidelines, and the Homeland Security Department’s security reporting requirements.

At a minimum, Lew said agency policies must comply with FISMA requirements and deal with:

  • Controlling access to agency information and information systems.
  • Protecting agency information (including personally identifiable information) and information systems.
  • Limiting introducing vulnerabilities.
  • Protecting information systems not under the control of the agency that are used for teleworking.
  • Safeguarding wireless and other telecommunications capabilities that are used for teleworking. 
  • Preventing inappropriate use of official time or resources that violates subpart G of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch by viewing, downloading, or exchanging pornography, including child pornography.

In addition, Lew said telework provides federal employees the ability to continue working during inclement weather, emergencies or situations that might disrupt normal government operations.

“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,” he wrote.

President Barack Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act last December. 


 

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Fri, Jul 29, 2011 Mark

The funny thing is that this has the opposite effect from the intended result. Agencies will now start to pull back from telework with the excuse that they have to harden their environments prior to allowing the telework option to expand. The end result is an increased cost to the government over the long-run due to the ever increasing price of office space, parking space and general facility maintenance. This could have been handled much better to spur growth as opposed to killing it.

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