The Army’s mobile woes highlight the difficulties of IT in the BYOD era

A new report from the U.S. Army’s military inspector general finds that the military branch’s CIO has so far “done an inadequate job of ensuring the security of commercial mobile devices,” InformationWeek points out in this eye-opening post. The Army CIO has yet to develop sufficiently comprehensive security policies for its mobile device programs, according to the report, and policies that do exist aren’t always adhered to. And the report said the CIO wrongly concluded that mobile gadgets were not accessing networks and storing sensitive data and were therefore not subject to some security controls.

The report, which was limited to the iPhone, Android and Windows gadgets, underscores how difficult it is for enterprises to leverage mobile in the era of BYOD (bring your own device). Mobile devices can increase productivity dramatically, of course, and enabling end users to bring their own devices into the enterprise can be less expensive than top-down device deployments. But many enterprises don’t understand just how these devices work or how their employees are using (or misusing) them. Which is why it’s critical for many of these organizations to get good outside help to manage the devices their employees are buying and then using for work.