Will the Government go Mobile?

With everyone using smart phones for personal use, will the government be forced to accept them in the work place? According to Cisco data traffic numbers, global mobile data traffic will increase by a factor of 26 by 2015. With all those phones in service, there will be overlap with the workplace.

Linda Cureton, the CIO of NASA, recently stated in a January 11, 2011 Blog Post, “CIOS need to remember that people in their organizations – their customers – are all consumers. CIOs shouldn’t be content in their ability to rule their worlds as expectations of consumers continue to creep into the workplace.”

A Global Business Center Survey in November 2010 showed that people in Federal Agencies use a variety of devices when working outside the office.

59% use agency issued laptops
28% use personal laptop
25% use agency issued smart phone
17% use personal smart phone

A few years ago, it would have been unheard of for an agency to sanction the use of personal devices for work, though a lot of people were doing just that. In a March 10, 2011 GovLoop Training session, Gary Galloway, Deputy Director of the Office of Information Assurance, Bureau of Information Resource Management, U.S. Department of State, commented that use of personal smart phones and laptops was increasing and frequently used to support Telework. He stated that the Department of State has all but stopped using laptops.

The biggest concern with “Going Mobile” in the government is security, but there has been a recent paradigm shift from risk avoidance to risk management.  The DOD is using Common Access Cards (CACs) to secure laptops, but these are expensive and require additional equipment like card readers. 2011 will see the advent of security devices for […]

The Problem with Multiple Accounts and Passwords

Each time a person registers with a new website, they are required to share personal identifying information. This can include names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and usernames and passwords. This information is vulnerable to a number of threats. Untrustworthy organizations can sell the information, thereby exposing a person to unsolicited telephone calls, mailings, and spam email. Even worse, if hacked or stolen, the information can be used to steal a person’s identity and potentially gain access to their other online accounts.

Aggravating the problem is the fact that the average Internet user has registered accounts with over a dozen websites. This exponentially increases the chances of their personal data being compromised.

A closely related problem lies in the fact that people must try to remember usernames and passwords for all of the websites in which they interact.  To make remembering easier, many people use the same password to access multiple sites. This practice makes their accounts less secure and more vulnerable to cyber attacks, such as phishing, click-jacking, and cross-site scripting.

In response to problems such as these, the Obama administration is drafting plans for a forthcoming cyber-security effort intended to create an Internet ID for Americans. Although details of the plan are scarce, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke shed some light on the plan during its announcement this past November at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, “What we are talking about is enhancing online security and privacy, and reducing and perhaps even eliminating the need to memorize a dozen passwords, through creation and use of more trusted digital identities.”


OpenID is a promising technology intended to bolster cyber-security by solving the multiple accounts and passwords problem. OpenID is a standards-based Single Sign-On (SSO) protocol […]