36% of Government Websites Fail 'Important' Security Tests
At least 91 percent of U.S. government websites are failing to perform in at least one key security metric, according to a report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
The report analyzed 500 government websites. Two of the metrics looked at were desktop page-load speed and mobile page-load speed. Of the 500 websites, 63 percent of websites passed the test in desktop page-load speed, while only 27 percent passed the test for mobile page-load speed.
Security is a concern , the study said, with only 71 percent passing the Secure Sockets Layer certificates test. Yet, that was a 4 percent improvement from the previous test conducted by ITIF.
The ITIF report also found that 40 percent of government websites weren't accessible to people with disabilities. "Issues with accessibility range from poor contrast on websites to a lack of labels, which may prevent the website from being easily navigated by someone using a screen reader, assistive technology commonly used by individuals who are blind," the report said.
According to the report there are multiple steps policymakers can take to improve federal websites:
- Launch a website modernization sprint to fix known problems.
- Require federal websites to meet basic desktop and mobile page-load speeds.
- Launch a website consolidation initiative.
- Require all federal agencies to report website analytics.
- Appoint a federal CIO to lead federal IT modernization efforts.
- Encourage nonexecutive agencies and branches of government to adopt federal website standards and practices.