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December 1, 2016

Just where and how can you find balance in securing the federal workforce and the networks you use to transmit and store information critical to national security?  While some government contractors allow employees to adopt a liberal stance in order to tap into the most advanced tools and tech available today, others take a much more strict approach and limit access to apps, some websites and social media at work. But how do organizations that support federal agencies in meeting their mission determine which approach to take?

Amy Howland, CSRA’s Chief Information Security Officer, recently shared her insight on finding the balance between IT usage policy and cybersecurity for Federal Technology Insider. In the article she shares how her team has found their path to ensuring optimal information security (info sec) for both CSRA and the agencies the company supports.  Not only is Howland’s info sec approach grounded in proven best practices, but it is also guided by CSRA’s unique understanding of next-generation technologies and commitment to building teams able to optimize their promise.

We’re sharing the beginning of Amy’s article here, and then you can jump over to Federal Technology Insider to learn more. 

Read on to see what CISO Howland has to say:

One of the biggest struggles for government contractors is how to find the right balance between the information security their organizations must have with the tools that their teams need to help agencies deliver on their missions.  In every aspect of IT, from mobile devices to access to social media sites and apps, there’s a constant give and take between the value that these next-generation tools bring and the inherent risks they pose to a company’s network, data, and potentially, national security.

So how do you find the balance between the risk and reward?

While some organizations choose a fairly open approach, utilizing free collaboration tools or buying as much of the latest and greatest technology as possible, others rely on stringent security measures by simply locking systems down, blacklisting web sites, and preventing access to social media during the work day.  Limiting options for employees to use best-in-class technologies that drive collaboration and enable effective teams often results in the deployment of Shadow IT on company networks and results in InfoSec complications that come with unauthorized sites and applications.

At CSRA, I’d like to think that we’ve found a more productive approach that results in a genuine balance between needs and wants, security and productivity, and enables our employees to use our next-generation networks and tools to connect and build brilliant teams—whether they’re in headquarters or physically located at a customer site.  

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