Government agencies wrestle with more than just mobile security: Good Technology

Government agencies wrestle with more than just mobile security: Good Technology

Vendor of secure mobile solutions highlights some of the challenges government agencies are contending with mobility

With 150.8 million computer devices expected to ship by 2015, Good Technology government account director, Gary Griffiths, feels that the IT game has changed.

The observation came the way of Delv and Good Technology’s recent press event in Canberra to announce a strategic partnership in Australia, where Griffiths spoke about what role mobility plays in the local government sector.

The trends Griffiths sees shaping the world now is the consumerisation of IT, the prevalence of Big Brother watching everyone, and security.

In addition to privacy issues, Griffiths sees this time as the “golden age of cyber crime,” and thus organisations need to be open to new paradigms.

“Mobility is a balancing act,” he said.

“If implemented well, there are massive productivity and efficiency gains.”

When faced with the question of what is trending now in government mobility globally, Griffiths sees employees putting pressure on IT to have preferred personal mobile devices evolved into business devices.

“Bring-your-own-devices, or BYOD, is here, but are we prepared or even aware it’s occurring?” he asked.

According to the statistics he provided, Griffiths found that 91 per cent of organisations either already have or plan to support BYOD.

As for what challenges governments globally face, Griffiths simplifies it into not being on the front page of news due to a security breach.

“When it comes to hacking, cracking and external exposure, we have to contend with malicious applications, comprised devices that have been jailbroken, and OS version vulnerability,” he said.

“There is also spillage and leakage with home and Cloud backup.”

While mobile device management (MDM) is one way to keep track of devices, Griffiths states that agencies recognise that MDM is not enough.

“MDM security controls are limited to device security services, which begs the question whether you are going to turn off iCloud on iPhones and iPads,” he said.

The other issue is that MDM policies are implemented at a device level, which interferes with personal use, which Griffiths highlights was demonstrated by the New Zealand government.

“Consumer applications are especially challenging for most MDM solutions, such as the Path app which took users’ address book data and shared it online,” he said.

The discussion gets even more complicated when it comes to unintentional data loss through an employee losing a phone.

“When planning MDM, it’s about the data not the device,” Griffiths said.

As such, Griffiths suggests finding a good balance between security and privacy to create a secure mobile platform.

Patrick Budmar travelled to Delv and Good Technology’s join press event in Canberra as a guest of both companies.

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