UK govt gives green light to iPhones

UK govt gives green light to iPhones

The UK government is the latest organisation to give its employees the green light to start using iPhones and iOS 6 devices for the handling of sensitive emails and communications.

Previously, BlackBerry smartphones were the devices of choice, but the improvement in security made by Apple has led to the devices being added to the approved list.

It is thought that the UK government use as many as 20,000 BlackBerry devices across its various departments, which are still considered secure, but iOS 6 on its most restricted settings is now considered a viable option for sensitive emails, at least.

Government emails and documents are categorised into one of seven levels that describe the impact caused were the file to leak – from zero for no impact to six for severe.

Civil servants involved in communications up to level 3 will be able to use Apple devices for everyday work purposes. Typically, information deemed protected, restricted, confidential, secret or top secret fall into levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, respectively.

As well as relying on the security measures that come built-in to Apple, Android and BlackBerry devices it is also important for companies looking to embrace smartphones to incorporate their own mobile device management (MDM) systems.

One possible option for a business looking to manage a fleet of iPhone and Android devices is Maas360. The software, which was named as the 2012 Techworld Awards Mobile Product of the Year, can help configure and secure corporate and personal devices via an online portal, allow the sharing of company documents securely and continually monitor compliance to mobile security policies.

It is likely that employees using their own devices for work purposes will also have a range of personal information on their equipment, which they would not like to lose in the event of the company needed to wipe their device.

Through Dynamic Mobile Eexchange from Excitor it is possible to keep corporate information and personal data completely separate through sandboxing. This means that a misplaced device can be wiped of its corporate information, without the need to delete personal messages, photos or contacts.