Feds Say Encrypting Data is Key but Don't Want to Pony up the Cash

Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock.com

More than 75 percent of federal IT workers polled could not say with complete certainty their network data is safe, according to a recent survey.

Despite an increasing volume of data traveling across federal networks, a majority of federal IT managers recently polled do not believe that data is secure.

Only about a quarter of the 200 respondents from 60 agencies were certain of their network data’s safety, according to the recently released report by research company, Market Connections, commissioned by Brocade Federal.

Incomplete and haphazard encryption are the likely culprits

“Despite the volume of unencrypted inter- and intra-agency data traversing most enterprises, many federal agencies are not implementing procedures to protect the network because it is expensive and degrades performance,” the report stated.

Almost all respondents said encrypting their network data is important. But when asked whether their agency actually does so, that number decreased to 76 percent, according to the report.

The main challenge facing agencies when it comes to keeping network data safe is insufficient budgets. Three-quarters of those polled said it’s an issue.

A lack of internal resources and concerns that data protection systems are too complex were also cited as obstacles for about 50 percent of respondents.

The majority of those polled said they consider prevention a “high priority” in cybersecurity. Identification and remediation were both “high priorities” for almost 50 percent of those polled.

The largest increase in cybersecurity budgets between 2014 and 2015 took place in the area of prevention, which had almost a 25 percent increase, according to the survey.

A quarter of respondents said their agency’s data is “fully protected” when it comes to network-level security and agency-level cybersecurity. But about 5 percent said these areas were “not at all protected.”

Agencies appear to have a more difficult time protecting their data the further it travels.

Almost 60 percent of those polled gave the data within their data center a rating of excellent, meaning there are “full/comprehensive protective measures in place.” That number shrank to 33 percent when it came to data traveling from one agency to another.

(Image via Maksim Kabakou/ Shutterstock.com)