Mobile Device Management and BYOD
As local law enforcement, first responders, and other state and local government officials increasingly use mobile devices to share and access information with their federal counterparts, the U.S. government wants to make sure they do so securely.
About 93 percent of senior federal government employees embrace digital technology in the workplace, improving their productivity, with nearly three-quarters using an agency-issued smartphone and about half using a similar personal device for business purposes, according to a recent report issued by ICF International.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued guidelines that would allow federal employees to use mobile smartphones and tablets – instead of a smart card – to access government facilities or computer systems.
Agency mobility efforts would benefit from shared models and templates that are approved and endorsed by the federal chief information officer and CIO council, according to a whitepaper (pdf) published by the MITRE Corporation and the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center.
The Internal Revenue Service has not effectively kept up with changes in its wireless device inventory, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report (pdf) dated Sept. 19 but only released publicly Nov. 5. While 94 percent of IRS employees eligible for BlackBerry smartphones, cellphones or wireless aircards were appropriately assigned the devices, the agency had trouble keeping accurate documentation updated.
A pair of notices posted to FedBizOpps June 20 show the DoD is looking to purchase enterprise apps at a discount to host on its app store as well as gather strategies for fostering custom mobile app development. It also has a number of questions about how to best support commercial mobile devices while ensuring compliance with National Security Agency security and privacy standards.
The Homeland Security Department announced the Mobile Technology Security project June 13, one of several targeted research and development projects its science and technology directorate will pursue under a five-year broad agency announcement.
But despite these gains, only 56 of federal IT managers believe their agencies are taking full advantage of mobility, according to the industry-sponsored survey.
Under a bring your own device policy undergoing final approval at NASA, agency employees who opt in to the program may have to surrender their devices should they become compromised. "There could be the possibility that a device will have to be destroyed depending on what was on it," said John Sprague, enterprise applications service executive within NASA's office of the chief information officer.
The Veterans Affairs Department is seeking information on how it can support mobile devices operating on its network – a number that it expects will exceed 100,000 over the next three years.