Feds weigh in on wireless access

A majority of federal employees use wireless technology to access the Internet for work, and they say it helps with productivity and continuity of operations, according to a study funded by Sprint.

The Federal Mobility 2.0 study found that 83 percent of federal information technology executives believe wireless Internet access can be used securely. The Telework Exchange, a public/private partnership focused on telework in government, produced the study.

Half of the federal employees surveyed said they access the Internet through wireless connections for work purposes, but 40 percent of federal IT executives reported that their organizations do not allow such access.

Federal IT executives listed unencrypted laptop PCs as the top security risk when employees work outside the office. Nearly 25 percent of Defense Department IT executives said either their agency is not in compliance or they are not sure if their agency is in compliance with the DOD mandate that requires encryption of unclassified data.

"Wireless Internet can be a tremendous recruitment and retention tool," said Cindy Auten, general manager at the Telework Exchange. "The majority of federal employees find wireless Internet boosts their productivity ? so much so that they are willing to pay for the service themselves."

Business opportunities include helping agencies establish and communicate policies to users and assisting them with data encryption for laptop PCs.

More information about the study can be found at http://www.teleworkexchange.com/mobility.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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