Bring your own device (BYOD) is a phenomenon now common in today’s workforce due to the increase and improvements in smartphones. It’s great for employees that don’t want to carry around multiple devices, each primarily for either personal life or work, but for IT departments and company management, the security concerns overrule the benefits of convenience. And if there’s anyone that needs to be worried about its data staying secure, it’s the government.
Enterprise and government organizations are struggling with how to allow employees to use their own mobile devices for work yet keep corporate data secure. As recently as 2010, less than 10 percent of enterprises explicitly allowed BYOD. Current research suggests that most corporations have relented in the last year, with more than 60 percent now adopting pro-BYOD policies.
HID Global, a provider of secure identity solutions, has announced a solution for government agencies interested in securing Apple (News - Alert) iOS devices with access to sensitive data. It enables government agencies of all kinds to use their Common Access Card (CAC) or Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards to secure communications and access to sensitive information by encrypting it through Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) encryption methods.
The solution combines the ActivClient Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK), the first solution to truly deliver strong authentication to protect corporate data residing on millions of personal smartphones and tablets used for corporate e-mail, portal and cloud application access, with two sleeves from Precise Biometrics: the Tactivo iPhone (News - Alert) sleeve and the Tactivo iPad sleeve. The ActivClient SDK offers two-factor authentication, signature and decryption technology capabilities for all iOS devices.
"The massive popularity of iOS devices has completely changed the way organizations of all types, including government, approach how these devices access information," said Thomas Marschall, Precise Biometrics president & CEO, in a statement. "Our solution with HID Global takes a pragmatic approach to the problem, ensuring that the CAC and PIV cards already in use can now secure the mobile devices government employees are already using."
Image via Precise Biometrics
For government agencies interested in deploying a more integrated solution, HID Global offers a solution leveraging “derived credentials,” a concept recently introduced in the FIPS 201-2 PIVstandard, which is currently in draft form. The integrated approach taken by HID Global applies the “derived credential” to a secure microSD card, a secure element with the same cryptographic services as the CAC or PIV smart card. This microSD format can be connected to iPhones with a sleeve. This approach brings both significantly increased convenience and security to the iPhone BYOD scenarios.
The Precise Biometrics Tactivo Smart Card & Fingerprint Reader enables multifactor authentication on iPad and iPhone, supporting U.S. government credentials including PIV, PIV-I, CAC and TWIC, as well as the Precise Match-on-Card credentials used in many national IDs. As a smart casing that slips easily over the device, Tactivo makes security convenient and easy to use; pass-through charging and synchronization and a slim design mean users don’t have to remove the casing for regular, daily use. Tactivo for iPad was also designed to accommodate the popular iPad Smart Cover.
“It is incredibly important for us to bridge the gap from the cards in use today to the mobile devices of the future,” said Julian Lovelock, vice president of product marketing, Identity Assurance, with HID Global. “As the market shifts from workstations to smartphones and tablets, there is an increased use of these devices to access corporate emails and resources. By incorporating our iOS SDK with sleeves like those from Precise Biometrics, we ensure a smooth transition for government agencies and their employees.”
Edited by Rich Steeves