OMB calls on agencies to update their .gov websites and virtual private networks, revisit identity and access management policies, and lean on collaboration and electronic signature platforms

“The White House issued a memo Sunday urging agencies to maximize the use of technology during the coronavirus pandemic to best continue normal operations.”

“The guidance from the Office of Management and Budget calls on agencies to update their .gov websites and virtual private networks, revisit identity and access management policies, and lean on collaboration and electronic signature platforms to keep the workforce connected and productive…”

“OMB’s guidance comes as the federal government has moved to a state of ‘maximum teleworking’ during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Some agencies have experienced strain on their networks and ambiguity with how to deal with contractors. On Friday, OMB also urged contracting officers to extend teleworking to private-sector contractors.”

“For agencies to continue interfacing with citizens, OMB urged agencies to provide updated information through their website and conduct needed interactions over the phone. For forms that need to be signed, OMB urged agencies to use e-signatures to ‘the fullest extent practicable.’ Weichert herself signed the memo digitally.”

“To ensure continued access for employees, agencies should re-authenticate user accounts remotely, the memo says. For some agencies, users need to login to networks from their offices for their accounts to remain active. Avoiding entering offices and keeping government face-to-face interactions to a minimum remains the priority, the memo states.”

“The memo also addresses the cybersecurity risks of moving work online. While it urges agencies to remain vigilant, it said agencies should take ‘risk-based decisions as appropriate’ to meet the needs of continuing operations. The memo tells agencies to update VPNs, remind employees not to forward government material to non-government platforms and provide guidance on protecting information security.” Contractors should telework too

“OMB issued a separate memo Friday urging contracting officers to extend teleworking opportunities to government contractors. The memo comes after contractors were left in limbo over whether they were still required to report to government buildings or could access their work remotely.” Read the full article here.

Source: White House tells agencies to use technology to the ‘greatest extent practicable’ during coronavirus – By Jackson Barnett, March 23, 2020. FedScoop.

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