Agencies want better guidance on BYOD

Reimbursement plans, privacy and legal issues are major challenges, report says.

Federal agencies want better guidance from the White House on how, when and whether they should reimburse employees who use their own mobile devices for government business, according to a coalition of technology officials.

Agencies also want better guidance on the legal, financial and privacy implications of switching to so-called bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, policies, according to the Dec. 11 report from the federal Chief Information Officers Council.

One of the greatest barriers to BYOD adoption, and to mobile adoption in government generally, is the lack of adequate processes to keep government data encrypted, the report said.

If data is sufficiently encrypted it can be viewed on a smartphone or tablet and not leave a trace on the device itself after the employee closes out of it. That would limit the danger of a lost phone turning into a million-dollar problem.

Agencies also would like better established protocols for how to use authentication, the report said. That means ensuring the person on the other end of the smartphone or tablet is who he says he is.

The government’s top technology officials should establish a cross-agency team to examine the legal and privacy implications of employees using nongovernment furnished mobile devices, the report recommended.

“As the pace of technology advancement continues to increase, standards and processes must be updated and new technologies developed to allow the continued use of commercial off-the-shelf products,” the report said, “giving government users access to the latest technologies to meet their missions without sacrificing privacy and security.”

(Image via Stuart Miles/Shutterstock.com)

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