BYOD considered at the Pentagon

by Caitlin Nobes28 Feb 2013

If you’re not worried about the security of your employees’ private devices, you should be – but in a strong indication of where business is heading, one of the most security conscious organisations in the world is taking on the bring your own device (BYOD) challenge.

The Pentagon and US Defense Department currently purchase and assign phones to employees. For many years the majority of phones purchased were Blackberries. The organisations announced yesterday that 600,000 Department of Defense employees will be able to use a range smartphones, computer tablets and other mobile devices to share classified and protected data.

While BYOD is not currently available, it could be an option as soon as next year, if the employer can ensure security.

The organisation would use the latest commercial technologies to ensure security under its new plan. The system aims to quickly enable the latest technologies to be securely used by the military while remaining "device agnostic," Major General Robert Wheeler, a Defense Department deputy chief information officer said in a statement.

Wheeler said the implementation plan aimed to ensure that mobile devices, wireless infrastructure and mobile applications remain "reliable, secure and flexible enough to keep up with the fast-changing technologies of today."

The plan aims to "align the various mobile devices, pilots and initiatives across the department under common objectives to ensure the war fighter benefits from these activities," Teri Takai, the Pentagon's chief information officer, also said in a statement.

"This is not simply about embracing the newest technology - it is about keeping the department's workforce relevant in an era when information accessibility and cybersecurity play a critical role in missions," she said.

 

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