While cybersecurity may be a national priority, it has been a thorn in the side of government agencies and has actually hindered productivity.

Federal executives said cyber security measures limited "information access, computing functionality and mobility" and reduced their productivity, according to the Cybersecurity in the Federal Government (PDF) survey by the Government Business Council.

"Surveyed federal executives believe that cyber-security policies and procedures should be modified to provide more emphasis on the importance of allowing federal managers to achieve their agency’s mission," said Bryan Klopack, GBC’s director of research to eWeek.

Frustration with current cyber security measures have driven 65 percent of surveyed federal employees to circumvent security by resorting to non-agency devices. Forty-two percent admitted they accessed information at home instead of the office to avoid security controls. One of the reasons is that cybersecurity measures often restrict access to websites and webmail accounts that can be helpful to federal executives, the survey stated. Restricting these information sources negatively impacts the respondent’s job efficiency.

Despite the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act, which seeks to increase the number of remote government workers, the surveyed federal executives feel that cybersecurity restrictions limit them to working in agency buildings.

Many Federal Executives felt Restricted From “Non-Work” Sources to access helpful information including video sharing websites (65 percent), social networking websites (59 percent), messaging services (56 percent) and webmail (49 percent). More than three in five of those restricted from news websites believe the lack of access has a “somewhat negative” or “very negative” impact on their ability to do their job effectively, while 50 percent of those restricted from webmail accounts feel the same way.

A total of 162 federal executives from 28 civilian and defense agencies participated in the survey. Participating agencies included the Department of Treasury, United States Postal Service and United States Marine Corps. The executives managed areas that included operations, finance and human resources.

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