A U.S. data security firm claims more than 4,000 devices from previous bans are still in use in the public sector.

Forescout relied on a crowdsourced repository that shares anonymized device insights and discovered that 2,712 Huawei devices and 1,374 ZTE devices are being used by government employees. Both company’s devices are part of the previous ban by the White House.

The ban on Huawei equipment came in the form of an executive order from the president because of a perceived national security risk. But the issue that Forescout leaders discovered is that while the administration can sign executive agreements banning these products, eliminating them is another, more difficult task.

“You can’t just turn off a whole enclave of devices if they are serving a purpose,” said Katherine Gronberg, Forescout’s vice president of government affairs.

However, Gronberg also said, if agencies do find an effective way to remove banned devices, it might solve two of their problems.

“It dovetails rather well with government efforts to modernize anyway,” Gronberg said.

Kelsey Reichmann is a general assignment editorial fellow supporting Defense News, Fifth Domain, C4ISRNET and Federal Times. She attended California State University.

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