Mobility, Security and the Pressure In-Between
From checking bank statements to booking flights, mobile phones have become integral to our everyday lives. In the near future, the number of mobile devices will exceed the world’s population, and by 2017, we expect more than 10 billion mobile devices to be used across the globe.
With this proliferation, public sector organizations are facing increasing pressure to accommodate the growing numbers of users expecting to be constantly connected regardless of who owns the device. The network must dynamically adjust in real-time to an exponentially growing and disparate number of devices and applications that demand immediate and secure connectivity.
In government organizations, comprehensive policies supporting BYOD initiatives are lacking. Many IT leaders still need to shift their strategies to include secure mobility within their security agenda.
According to a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 45 percent of federal IT managers believe that security is not an integral part of their agency’s overall mobile adoption strategy. And when asked to pick the biggest barrier to achieving an effective mobile security strategy, IT managers answered, “staff resistance.”
Because secure mobility is an area that touches all of the pillars within IT – from users to devices – today’s approach can no longer be insular. Government agencies are adapting their approach to mobility and security, optimizing it to deliver efficiency to the end-user, regardless of where they are or what device they use.
The IT department cannot be solely responsible; employees must practice security measures as well. For instance, though most employees take basic steps in securing their laptops and computers, a significant number fail to secure agency data on their phones. And with employees demanding a more mobile work environment, IT departments must identify who is accessing the network remotely, what types of devices they’re connecting from and what information they seek. Security trainings and formal employee-focused mobile device programs are crucial in addressing these vulnerabilities.
When the appropriate security procedures and solutions are in place and enforced, a mobile workforce can be a tremendous asset to a government agency. And with secure mobility, agencies can manage the access and permissions of users, devices, and applications. Therefore, in order to take advantage of the BYOD trend, IT leaders in government agencies must first build a solid foundation to understand and include mobile security.
How is your agency addressing “staff resistance” to mobile security efforts?
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