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FCW : September 15, 2015
Every year, more federal employees use mobile devices to collaborate with coworkers, engage with citizens, collect and transmit data, and remain productive while out of the office. According to Mobile Work Exchange, 90 percent of government employees use mobile devices today, and that number is expected to rise even further over time. While the benefits of mobility to fed- eral agencies are clear, security issues are always a concern. Hacking and malware is a persistent worry, and for good reason. According to a mobile security study from the Government Accountability Office, the number of variants of malware aimed at mobile devices had risen by about 185 percent in the past year. User behavior also can cause problems. A study by Ponemon Institute found that two-thirds of respondents from a variety of organizations have either frequently, or sometimes, downloaded and used mobile apps that aren’t specifically approved by the organization, and only 19 percent made sure the apps didn’t have viruses or malware. A study by Mobile Work Exchange found that about one-third of government employees use public Wi-Fi connections, 25 percent don’t set passwords, and six percent have lost or misplaced their mobile device. Agencies have made great strides in securing mobility by implementing technologies and policies around Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM), and Data Loss Prevention. But it’s simply not enough, though federal regulators are doing what they can. In 2013, the Federal CIO Council issued guidance to help agencies secure mobile devices. The Federal Mobile Security Baseline provides a minimum set of security controls for mobile devices, while the Mobile Security Reference Architecture, developed by the Department of Homeland Security in collaboration with dozens of agencies, lays out the architectural components required to provide secure mobile services. Achieving the highest level of mobile security requires even more stringent and specific standards and controls, and they are on the way. For example, NIST has updated FIPS 201-2, a standard for Personal Identification Verification cards, to allow smart identity card holders to access secure computer networks from mobile devices. The technology goes hand-in-hand with NIST’s SP 800-157 for Derived PIV Credentials, which allows users to use mobile devices for secure communications. The Mobile SecuriTy conundruM: byod ediTion According to a recent report commissioned by the National Academy of Public Administration, nearly half of senior federal government employees are using their own personal mobile devices for business purposes. That’s not surprising; the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is slowly but surely becoming part of the federal culture. While the benefits of BYOD are well- known—they improve productivity and employee satisfaction—there is little doubt that allowing them in the workplace makes mobile security more complicated. Because personal and government data reside on the same device, the loss of a device is a significant security risk. And if employees download apps for personal use that are connected to malware or have viruses, they can affect government data. MobiliTy And SecuriTy: on The cuTTinG edGe Gamechanger Game ChanGinG TeChnoloGy To meeT aGenCy missions SponSored report hAckinG And MAlwAre iS A perSiSTenT worry, And for Good reASon. shutterstock.com MobilE SEcurity
August 30, 2015
September 30, 2015