Like everyone, Government workers endured a rapid digital transformation in recent years. This has shifted the way many agencies operate and as a result, the needs and priorities of front-line employees have evolved over the past two years as well.

The Endpoint Ecosystem study offers Government leaders a lens into the way workers actually use technology, and it provides insights into the employee experience. By leveraging the study’s data, leaders can strengthen protections around company data while simultaneously improving the experience for their employees.

Government Has a Problem with Shadow IT

The Endpoint Ecosystem study shows that 39% of Government employees find security policies to be restrictive and 32%employees have found ways to work around those security policies. More concerning is that 45% admit they have a preference to use apps like Gmail and Dropbox. These data points help to explain the explosion of Shadow IT. The trade-off of convenience over security is regularly being made by Government employees, raising the chance of data breach from unknown vulnerabilities.

The reality is Shadow IT will continue as it is being driven by remote workers and Gen Z.Both of these groups are set to grow in the post-pandemic workforce.Government leaders need to identify tools that empower remote employees, and younger employees and reduce their need for unapproved apps.

There is a Password Problem in Government

Although the Endpoint Ecosystem study shows that Government workers manage their passwords better than their peers in other industries, there are still alarming issues present.

According to the study, 21% of Government workers are writing their work passwords in a personal journal, 11% keep work passwords in notes on their phone, and 17% store passwords in Excel or Word on a PC.

The way Government workers are creating and remembering their passwords presents a major vulnerability as well. Seventy-three percent use the same passwords for multiple applications. With the exposure of one password, many applications become exposed.

To reduce risk, Government employers need to commit to going fully password-less or provide their employees with an efficient password management tool.

Attitudes Toward Personal Privacy and Company Security are Out of Sync

While Employees in all industries favor personal privacy over company security, the bias that Government workers hold towards privacy is notable. Of all industries polled, Government workers care about company security the least. Eighty-One Percent of Government employees claim their personal privacy is more important than company security – only 73% share the same view in Healthcare, 62% in Finance, and 77% in Education.

Further, younger employees care more about personal privacy than their older counterparts. Seventy-nine percent of Gen Z workers polled attested to caring more about personal privacy than company security, as opposed to 71% of Baby Boomers in Government.

Leaders in Government can harness this insight by presenting personal privacy and company security as two sides of the same coin. In order to do this, leaders should leverage their employees strong feelings on personal privacy and position company security as a natural counterpart.

Government Workers Trust Their Employers with Data

Government workers largely have a positive perception of their employers. This is especially true regarding attitudes toward securing data.

The Endpoint Ecosystem study shows that 72% of Government employees believe their employers respect their personal privacy. What’s more, 82% attested to believing their company is more concerned about data security now than ever before.

The strength in perception indicates that Government institutions are communicating effectively with their employees when it comes to security.

Government Workers are Adaptable, and Transformation is Predictable

Unsurprisingly, remote work is swiftly becoming the norm in the Government sector. Only 31% of employees surveyed work full-time on-site. Remote employees are more aware of security and privacy policies, in addition to behaving more carefully with their passwords.

With that precedent in mind, employers should involve these remote workers in product decisions and ensure younger workers have a seat at the table. Gen Z workers are hyper-aware of privacy policies and can provide meaningful insight when drafting and writing company-wide communications on security.

What’s best is these conversations are likely to go well. Seventy-five percent of employees in Government believe their employers are open to listening to new ideas about the use of technology to improve the way they work.

How to learn more

To learn more about how Government workers view their Endpoint Ecosystem, we invite you to download the Endpoint Ecosystem for Government study. Armed with the data from the study, our hope is that Government Institutions will identify ways to improve endpoint security and employee experience for their workforce.

Andrew Reade