Amid Coronavirus, CISA and NIST Issue Guidelines to Boost Federal Telecommuting

Amid Coronavirus, CISA and NIST Issue Guidelines to Boost Federal Telecommuting

The federal government continues to refine its teleworking policies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, even acting over the weekend to issue guidelines designed to make it easier for federal workers and contractors to perform their jobs from remote locations. And while many private businesses have allowed significant portions of their workforce to telecommute for years, governments have been slow to follow suit, especially at the federal level. 


Now federal agencies must suddenly learn how to manage large numbers of employees working from home, with no realistic estimate about how long they will need to continue to do that. Any telecommuting plans designed for short periods of time are wishful thinking at best during this pandemic. It might be June or July before we get a handle on the virus, and even that might be overly hopeful.


Predictably, this forced rush to telecommuting has caused many problems, with one of the most concerning being a surge in targeted attacks against strained federal networks. Hackers are taking advantage of the telecommuting chaos to launch attacks across the spectrum.


One of the biggest reasons why government networks are straining right now is their reliance on virtual private networks (VPN) to connect remote employees with their agency networks. VPNs have a lot of problems, which is why Gartner predicts that by 2023, 60% of private companies will have phased them out in favor of zero-trust n ..