07 Feb Addressing BYOD in Secure Federal Environments
Mobile software solutions are becoming absolutely crucial to the Federal Government’s Digital Government Strategy, but concerns around security and BYOD policies make implementation challenging and highly complex. Mobile Reach has been serving federal customers for more than a decade and we are acutely aware of the importance of securing sensitive data.
Mobile government workers are just as familiar and well versed on mobile devices and technologies as their private-sector counterparts. Most of them own and frequently use iPhones, BlackBerrys, Android tablets, or other convenient and powerful mobile devices in their personal lives. These devices help them stay connected, help them communicate in real-time when away from home, and help them manage daily schedules, tasks, and work that used to only be possible at home or at a fixed personal computer.
People are becoming more comfortable with the mobile experience and more dependent on the mobile functionality available to them while away from home. So, it is no surprise that there is a growing expectation that a higher level of remote functionality is available in the work environment as well. This phenomenon, in fact, is what is driving the entire BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) movement – people want to bring the same quality of communication and functionality to their work environment as they are accustomed to having in their personal lives.
And so, many organizations are quickly adopting BYOD policies and strategies to support these expectations and take advantage of the productivity improvements that mobile solutions provide. Why has the federal world, which has such great need, fallen behind? The challenge really comes down to the very tight security requirements that federal agencies must adhere to. Policies to protect social security numbers, military plans, FBI files, and other highly sensitive data need to be scrutinized in relation to the risk associated with a potential breach. Strict protection must exist everywhere and anywhere such data lives or visits.
One popular method to limit risk is to require that no mobile device store any data at rest. However, this approach limits offline functionality and creates a dependency on network connectivity, which greatly reduces the usability of the mobile experience. Native mobile applications are much more robust and often required for complex operations. Some agencies allow data at rest on mobile devices, but limit that privilege to agency-provided devices. This policy effectively eliminates the BYOD concept completely, but may be the only accepted possibility in some environments.
How does Mobile Reach address these critical concerns to provide robust solutions for our federal customers? The following features of the Splitware Mobility Platform help ensure the highest level of data protection in federal implementations while providing flexible and robust mobile applications:
- The Splitware Mobility Platform produces native applications on all mobile platforms that enable a high level of usability, functionality, and control
- The Splitware Mobility Platform supports all enterprise-ready mobile devices, including: iOS (iPod, iPhone, iPad), Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and Android
- All data at rest is protected via 256-AES Encryption on all mobile devices
- All data transferred over the air is protected via 256-AES Encryption to/from all mobile devices
- All mobile applications require authentication credentials while running both online AND offline
- Mobile applications are password-protected with a customizable lock timer on all mobile operating systems
Splitware is a mobile platform that supports the robust needs of mobile users while easing the security concerns of federal IT departments.