Mobile Device Mgt Guidelines Revised

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 @ 01:06 PM gHale

A mobile device management guide for federal agencies seeking secure methods for workers to use smart phones and tablets is now available.

Employees want to connect to work through mobile devices for flexibility and efficiency, and managers want it also. However, the technology that delivers these advantages also provides challenges to an agency’s security team because these devices can be more vulnerable, said researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

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A smartphone or tablet could end up stolen or lost, potentially allowing unauthorized individuals access to an agency’s network and its sensitive information. Also, an employee can unknowingly infect its agency’s network by downloading an application containing malware.

Guidelines for Managing the Security of Mobile Devices in the Enterprise” helps federal agencies and other organizations struggling with this dilemma. Originally issued in 2008 as Guidelines on Cell Phone and PDA Security, the new guidelines ended up updated and reflect comments received on a draft version issued a year ago.

The revised guidelines recommend using centralized device management at the organization level to secure both agency-issued and individually owned devices used for government business.

Centralized programs manage the configuration and security of mobile devices and provide secure access to an organization’s computer networks. Agencies currently use this type of system to manage smartphones they issue to staff. The new NIST guidelines offer recommendations for selecting, implementing and using centralized management technologies for securing mobile devices.

Other key recommendations include instituting a mobile device security policy, implementing and testing a prototype of the mobile device solution before putting it into production, securing each organization-issued mobile device before allowing a user to access it, and maintaining mobile device security.

Click here to download the “Guidelines for Managing the Security of Mobile Devices in the Enterprise.”

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