Federal BYOD may require a closer look

Mobile devices can change relatively quickly, requiring policy adjustments or new management software. Before they make a serious investment, government agencies should determine what their current security risks are and how necessary a new policy might be. FCW recently spoke to Kimberly Hancher, who used to serve as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's CIO in the White House.

According to her, a BYOD policy can be based on specific needs and risks. If a certain government agency handles infrastructural information, or personal data, or anything classified, then the risks of employee devices need to be addressed. The same standards may also have to apply to different devices, as tablets make BYOD inroads alongside smartphones.

Hancher said that a specific policy is needed even when an agency doesn't actually allow BYOD or means to restrict it.

"It's critical to be clear with employees what you do and don't allow under certain circumstances," she said. "I don't think most agencies have done the proper due diligence and made employees aware of what the policy is."

" The risks of employee devices need to be addressed."

Some agencies have made more progress using mobile devices than others. FedTech reported that FBI agents use 40,000 Samsung Galaxy S5 phones, and Air Force pilots have reduced "more than 90 pounds of paper charts" by switching to an iPad app.

Lifehacker Australia profiled NASA's approach to onboarding new devices, which involves a "petting zoo" to test out new IT. The effort has included iPhones and Google Glass, as well as cloud computing.

Whatever their current infrastructure, agencies can use automated data processing to build applications into a standard workflow. Use Inventu's Flynet Viewer for help with device access across the enterprise. This solution supports older browsers and will allow users to work with the most popular options.