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Defence Signals Directorate offers BYOD advice

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Australia's signals intelligence agency, the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD), has published two sets of guidelines for Australian government agencies contemplating a bring your own device (BYOD) regime.

The public advice, available here, is utterly anodyne and offers terrifyingly tough questions including:

  • What are the legal implications?
  • What are the financial implications?
  • What are the security implications?
  • Do I have a strong business case to justify the security trade-off?

It also makes the, to IT folks at least, non-startling observation that:

BYOD can be the 'weak link' into a network. Using mobile devices for both personal and business purposes can create more opportunities for social engineering and the inadvertent installation of malicious software. Malicious software can provide an entry route into the associated corporate network and access to information communicated or stored on the device. Organisations are likely to have less visibility and control over the security configuration of, and user behaviour on, BYOD. Employees will often lack the IT knowledge and motivation to reduce security risks to their devices."

The agency has also published a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Considerations paper at the OnSecure portal. Membership of that site is only open to government employees and outsiders engaged on government IT projects.

It is to be hoped it offers rather greater detail than the public document's exhortation to “be consultative” when developing BYOD security, as “The most effective scenarios are jointly developed by business and legal representatives, IT security staff, system administrators and employees themselves. This helps ensure your organisation develops policy and processes which all stakeholders are willing to adhere to.” ®

Bootnote

If you've an OnSecure login, we can assure complete discretion if you choose to share the BYOD Considerations document with us.

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