U.S. Gov't Mmandates Laptop Security

    Date29 Jun 2006
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    The Bush Administration is giving federal civilian agencies just 45 days to comply with new recommendations for laptop encryption and two-factor authentication. The memo follows a wave of high profile data thefts and major security breeches involving remote access or the theft of government laptop computers containing sensitive personal information. The official memo (PDF) from the executive office of the U.S. president stipulates that all mobile devices containing sensitive information must have their data encrypted.

    The recommendations also say that two-factor authentication must be used for remote access, that remote access must time out after 30 minutes of inactivity, and that all data extracts must be logged. The memo does not detail any specific technology recommendations beyond this broad outline, presumably leaving agencies to decide on their own specific implementations. "Most departments and agencies have these measures already in place," wrote Clay Johnson III, the Deputy Director for Management who authored the memo. That's an assertion that is hard to believe in the wake of some high profile data thefts in the past year involving government systems that were not using any encryption or two-factor authentication.

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