BYOD continues to challenge agencies struggling to develop policy

Most agencies allow devices to access networks, but also don't know how to manage it, survey suggests.

Many federal agencies currently lack policies and procedures to manage personal mobile devices on their networks, which adds to the challenges associated with the growing “bring your own device” trend in government.

Nearly 60 percent of public-sector agencies allow all personal mobile devices to connect to the enterprise networks, according to a survey by IT publication Network World and SolarWinds, an IT management software provider. But the same percentage also said their agency didn’t have the appropriate tools to handle non agency-issued mobile devices on the network.

Of those who have prohibited personal mobile devices from their networks, 26 percent had banned Android-based devices; 23 percent disallowed Windows Mobile devices; and 23 percent wouldn’t allow BlackBerrys. Only 14.5 percent said tablets and laptops were denied access

More than 70 percent of the respondents stated they were either somewhat or very confident in knowing which personal mobile devices had access to their agency’s network. However, close to one-fifth don’t know how many or which personal devices are accessing their agency’s network, and nearly 3 percent said “I have no clue” of the personal devices that access the network. 

Asked whether their personal mobile device has ever been responsible for a security breach on their network, most (61 percent) answered no. Twenty-seven percent were unsure about whether their device had caused issues, while 6 percent admitted their own device had been the source for malfeasance.

Seventy-three public-sector respondents participated in this survey. The three most commonly occurring titles among those polled were network architect/admin/engineer (26 percent), IT manager (15 percent) and IT director (14 percent).

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