How to Secure Mobile Devices for Government and Military Use

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In spy movies, it always seems that government agencies are equipped with the most futuristic mobile gadgets imaginable.  In the real world however, government lags behind the private sector in adoption of the newest commercially available mobile technologies.  Instead of the edgy devices of the movies, you and your colleagues may be carrying around something that looks like a 2003 vintage Palm Treo.  The big concern, of course, is security.  Most commercial devices are not secure enough for government.  But here at Aruba, we don't think it needs to be this way.  So we have created WorkSpace to meet the demands of the mobile government enterprise.  In a single-platform, WorkSpace offers mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM), offering enterprise IT control of government issued mobile devices (GFE), or government applications and data resident on privately owned devices (BYOD).

For those agencies who want their employees to use the most modern equipment available: their own devices, or are considering BYOD, WorkSpace MAM is the perfect solution.  WorkSpace creates a container on the personal device, allowing IT to automatically download and install business applications, data, and network settings.  When you want to use the device for work, you simply connect to any network, enter credentials and password, and the WorkSpace applications become available in a dedicated screen.  When finished, close WorkSpace, and it returns to being an unobtrusive, unassuming icon.  Yet WorkSpace also maintains privacy for the device owner; enterprise IT cannot see anything outside the WorkSpace container, so your private data remains private.

What about security?  The contents of the enclosure, as well as the data streams between it and the corporate network, are encrypted.  If the device is captured by another faction, enterprise IT can remotely wipe the contents of the WorkSpace container by sending a command to the device. WorkSpace can even be configured to erase itself after a specified amount of time has passed without connecting to the corporate network, so corporate data is secure even if the device has been taken to a subterranean stronghold without cell or network access.  Once rescued, the data, applications, and settings can be easily restored to the device.

For some agencies, however, GFE is still the only way to go.  For GFE mobile device deployments, WorkSpace MDM allows enterprise IT total control of the entire device, with centralized configuration of all network, device, and application policies, as well as the ability to remotely track, lockdown, or wipe the device in case of loss or capture, rendering the device useless to other factions.  Unfortunately, self-destruct is not yet a WorkSpace feature, however.

So, whether you allow your agents to bring their mobile devices to work, or assign GFE equipment to them, in one solution Aruba WorkSpace secures enterprise data and applications on these mobile devices.  By eliminating the security issues of BYOD and GFE and making the government workplace much more mobile friendly, WorkSpace could be cooler than the gadgets in the movies.