Pentagon sees need for mobile device security policies

Pentagon sees need for mobile device security policies

The Department of Defense has been generally hesitant when it comes to installing a bring-your-own-device plan for mobility, mostly due to the issues surrounding the security controls of mobile devices on military networks, according to NextGov.

A mobile device strategy was released by the Pentagon on June 15, giving guidance as to the overall future of the program, but no strict specifics on securing devices on DOD networks has yet to be released. Instead, Pentagon CIO Teresa Takai wrote in the report that it will be dependent on access protocols and additional security features put in place by the DOD, which have yet to be developed.

Implementing security

DOD "must develop policy and standards to guide the secure, yet rapid adoption of commercial devices," and create a streamlined approval process, according to the departments mobile device strategy. The program was preferred to the development of custom hardware – in line with a rash of government initiatives aiming to cut down on costly, long-term projects and instead turn to commercial innovations – but no timeline has been set in stone.

Pentagon officials had been reaching out to industry experts for help in the process as recently as early June, according to NextGov, with continued support likely coming as the strategy moves closer to reality. The news provider reported that the Defense Information Systems Agency hosted industry days to gain the insight of private experts on how to best install a network infrastructure to enforce security settings on mobile devices.

Staying relevent

Although the overall BYOD plan has been slow moving in the DOD, Takai sees it as the way to keep the department current, technologically speaking, in a time of government cloud computing and agile mobile initiatives.

"This strategy is not simply about embracing the newest technology – its is about keeping the DOD workforce relevant in an era when information and cyberspace play a critical role in mission success," Takai wrote.

Government-wide movement

Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of the General Services Administration's Integrated Technology Services, echoes Takai in a blog post with her hope of government-wide adoption of mission-enhancing technology like mobility and cloud computing. The move to these new technologies is part of a hope to limit redundancy across the government.

Legacy systems, Davie wrote, inherently force agencies to duplicate efforts to meet similar requirements. By sharing requirements with newer initiatives, Davie said she hopes government CIOs will move basic requirements to a "service-based model" and strive to create enterprise IT solutions.