Mobile Trends: The Security of Bringing Your Own Device
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) allows Federal Government employees to use their own mobile devices to conduct work and offers productivity savings – some say as many as 9 more hours a week!
The Government continues to expand the use of mobile technology to serve its citizens and perform its mission, however, security is still one of the largest challenges. This is a particularly large barrier for the Government as it implements Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies.
Protecting information is critical. First and foremost, the data is sensitive. And the amount of data storage and processing on BYOD personal devices also compounds security risks.
This issue has not gone unnoticed by the Government. As part of the Milestone Action #3.3 guidance in the Digital Government Strategy, the BYOD Working Group lays out specific implementation approaches to mitigate security concerns. Strategies include virtualization (VPN) and remote access, so that Government data is not stored on the personal devices. Furthermore, security technology firms have deployed innovative products to comply with the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) regulations and can accelerate BYOD adoption.
The Government is not alone in its guarded approach to BYOD policies – the financial services and retail sectors are similarly hesitant. By implementing the suggested guidelines below, the Government can seek to limit the BYOD security issues.
- Start with access to Government websites and email before expanding to mission-critical data or networks
- Exploring technologies that increase data security and allow access to data but not storing it on the personal devices
- Consider how to communicate policies to employees, train them, and reinforce security practices on an ongoing basis
Taking advantage of the BYOD trend will prove to attract a tech saavy workforce and drive productivity gains in the years to come.