Government // Mobile & Wireless
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1/14/2014
10:45 AM
Tim Larkins
Tim Larkins
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BYOD In Defense Department? Not In This Lifetime

Despite some moves toward securing mobile devices and applications, Defense Department officials do not embrace the bring-your-own-device trend.

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

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WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
1/15/2014 | 11:27:55 AM
Re: I know it is blasphemy....
GAProgrammer, thanks for speaking up. Obviously I agree -- except to say, I think the buzz comes more from mobile device management marketers, and conference panelists who have a vested interest in promoting BYOD tools, than from the tech media crowd.  (And if tech writers are evangelizing BYOD, they need to take a closer look at the ROI question.)
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2014 | 9:15:26 AM
I know it is blasphemy....
but not every organization is a candidate for BYOD. I know the tech press loves their buzzwords and evangelize BYOD like they are making commissions, but there are plenty of reasons to never allow BYOD in everyday organizations.

For many organizations, there is no ROI. The increases in efficiency just don't justify the costs.

For others, like the DoD, security is the issue. Sure, you can remotely wipe a device - lots of BYOD solutions allow that. However, that does absolutely no good when the stolen device has already been compromised and the secure data is copied. Once it is gone, it is gone. For a company, you can sue, but that's of little consolation when your proprietary IP has been put on the black market. In the DoD case, lives could be lost due to information obtained between the time someone realizes the device is gone and the time the device is wiped.

Is it likely that someone can get the info off that quickly? Probably not. Is it possible? Definitely. In the DoD's case, if BYOD would cost a single human life, it is not worth the implementation.

I, for one, applaud the DoD for their decision.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
1/14/2014 | 5:25:08 PM
Why bother with BYOD?
At the end of the day, what's the big deal carrying around a government-issued and -secured smartphone along side a personal smartphone?  I'm willing to bet the cost of securing personal smartphones on a DoD network far exceeds the cost of issuing a secured, DoD-issued phone. My guess is the only reason we keep hearing about a BYOD policy in the Defense Department is because a few generals still insist there has to be a way to get their personal iPhones to work on DISA's network.

The one place a BYOD policy would be valuable is defining/clarifying the boundaries and rules of conduct governing the use of personal devices while working within DoD enclaves.

 
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