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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


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