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NSA Issues Guidance for Deploying Commercial Telework Tools

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The National Security Agency has released a guidance for government and military organizations seeking to implement commercial telework technologies amid concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSA said the document serves as a guide for best practices developed with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that government workers continue secure operations despite having limited access to government-furnished equipment.

According to NSA’s guidance, organizations must ensure that collaborative tools have features such as end-to-end encryption, multifactor authentication and legitimate privacy policies.

The agency noted that the guide does not cover government devices “designed specifically for secure communications” and that organizations should first consider the use of such services before implementing commercial tools.

In addition, the document is “not meant to be exhaustive or based on formal testing” and serves as NSA’s response to the federal government’s demands for telework operations through personal devices. Recommendations are subject to change as collaborative technologies and cyber threats evolve, the document states.