While government employer-issued devices can maintain a good level of security, exclusively using them may also diminish productivity in a world where mobile use is on the rise and employees are becoming increasingly reliant upon cross-device connectivity. Giving employees access to multiple devices without going through a painstakingly long process can save ample amounts of time. Many firms in the public and private sector recognize the growing need for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) capabilities and are implementing technology solutions and processes to allow for this. In the end, security concerns present the primary obstacle for any entity considering BYOD.
To address the security challenges, the State of Illinois took a proactive approach by establishing a new policy and acquiring mobile-device management (MDM) software that allows public employees to access work-related information using BYOD. For example, the new system can remotely terminate a user’s connection to the state’s IT resources when necessary. In addition, the MDM can remotely ‘wipe’ government information and revoke access to the network if an employee’s BYOD device is lost or the employee abruptly leaves state employment. The MDM software can also remotely access the employee’s phone, isolate government apps and information, and then wipe the sensitive data and remove any access to government sites.
A program similar to the BYOD program would be very helpful to the UAE Government on several fronts. Smart phone penetration is at 228% in the UAE as of 2017, which means that the likelihood of an employee having their phone on them is extremely high. Employees will be able to access government files remotely which is particularly helpful when they are in ad-hoc meetings with no access to their “work” laptop. This could also be very helpful to consultants working on projects, where they can be given secure access to documents and such that need their input.