The U.S. government has been slow to embrace mobile technologies despite trends suggesting it has become essential for everyday use, according to a new report from defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.
Roughly six out of 10 respondents in a survey of government officials said that tight security controls inhibit the use of mobile technologies, a Sept. 27 white paper read.
“Reasons for limited adoption are often rooted in funding challenges, as well as the belief that increased mobility must come at the expense of security — an unacceptable trade-off when the nation’s most sensitive data is on the line,” the white paper said.
Less than half of defense organizations provide full device functionality, according to the report.
Fifty-one percent of respondents said that budget constraints were viewed as a perceived barrier to implementing mobile work practices.
The report was based on responses from roughly 200 officials from the Pentagon, as well as federal and intelligence agencies. The release of the survey comes as the federal government as acknowledged the importance of securing mobile devices.
“We are out there on our mobile devices all day long,” John Zangardi, the top IT official at the Department of Homeland Security said Sept. 7 during the Billington cybersecurity summit. “We are a very mobile organization, so my attack vectors are out there.”
In an April 2017 report, the Department of Homeland Security suggested that mobile devices used by the federal government are patched for known vulnerabilities and meet a minimum security standard, but acknowledged that “many communication paths remain unprotected and leave the overall ecosystem vulnerable to attacks."