Federal IT Facing Major Concerns in 2016


U.S. Federal Government executives have quite the load of IT problems on their plates in 2016. The most obvious and significant concern is cybersecurity. Since 2006, more than 87 million private and sensitive records have been exposed through breaches of federal networks.

Advanced cyber attack attempts have rapidly increased, according to new reports in 2015. In the State of the Internet report by Akamai, it is claimed that web attacks in the fourth-quarter of 2015 increased by 40 percent from the previous quarter.

With cybersecurity being an impending threat to national security, the U.S. government is expected to spend $65 Billion on cybersecurity contracts between 2015 and 2020. However, hackers aren’t the only problem with cybersecurity. It is actually the “negligent employee” at an agency who fails to take precautions while using government networks that is considered the biggest threat to security, according to 44 percent of federal workers surveyed by the Ponemon Institute.

Federal workers also acknowledged in the survey that government agencies were highly unprepared for cyber attacks from hackers and that more highly skilled programmers were needed to assist in securing government networks. The lack of skilled personnel was ranked by 53 percent of federal IT workers as the biggest obstacle to cybersecurity.

Along with cybersecurity, the government CIO is facing challenges such as finding the right cloud solution for government data, using social media correctly (the Government Accountability Office ruled that EPA violated federal law by using social media for covert propaganda), preventing DDOS attacks, and replacing retiring employees.

With one in four government employees currently eligible for retirement, the CIO is commissioned with having to find suitably skilled workers to fill the void. This creates the potential for chaos and stress as new employees must be interviewed, vetted, and trained above and beyond normal employee turnover.

The infographic below, created by the team at Iron Bow technologies, outlines the IT concerns that are going to give the government CIO and other federal executives the biggest headaches in 2016.