As many electronics manufacturers were showing their latest innovations at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012, the Obama administration took the opportunity to announce its groundbreaking mobility strategy for the U.S. government.
“We have a real opportunity I think to bring to bear mobile technology in the federal government in a way that really changes the paradigm,” said U.S. chief information officer Steven VanRoekel, a former Microsoft executive and no stranger to the annual technology showcase in Las Vegas.
Government employees have used mobile devices – namely BlackBerry smartphones – for some time. But VanRoekel’s plan will completely reshape the way agencies and organizations approach smartphones and tablets for the government workforce.
As part of the new plan, the government will solicit ideas from the public for how it can best leverage the mobile technology that so many private-sector businesses are now investing in and deploying in droves.
“The mobility effort comes with the same broad goals that have accompanied earlier tech initiatives the administration has advanced, seeking to break down IT silos among the various departments and agencies, foster public-private partnerships, lower costs and improve services and efficiencies,” according to a CIO magazine report on VanRoekel’s announcement.
Of course, a top concern for the government’s greater use of mobile technology is data security, which is where the Army is focusing its efforts in order to deploy more devices that run on Google’s Android mobile operating system.
According to a recent Defense Systems report, the U.S. Department of Defense is confident that the security of the devices themselves is enough, but officials are now developing solutions that can determine who exactly is using a device.
“The department is looking at a range of identity verification techniques, from biometrics to physical and software user certificates to ensure that person sending that text or phone call is who they say they are,” the report noted.
Furthermore, the Department of Veterans Affairs has already launched a pilot program to support employee use of Apple products. The move constitutes a dramatic change for the VA, whose employees deal heavily in personally identifiable information of military veterans. Nonetheless, CIO Roger Baker said data security was taken into account and is believed not to be an issue.
Consumerization News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro