British military personnel and Ministry of Defence employees are now allowed to use their own smartphones for work-related activity, recent reports indicate. The MoD has been careful to ensure all mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, meet strict top-level government encryption requirements.
The use of personal smartphones and tablets have been tested in the field by other military departments, with great success. In addition to military personnel being able to quickly and accurately use their own personal electronics, it helps reduce the amount of items that would need to be deployed and supported. Not too surprisingly, the government wants to ensure all devices that are used for military and government activities can be remotely bricked and wiped in case of loss or theft.
Here is what Craig Collins, former Royal Signals officer and head of Army HQ ICS Ops said (via FT):
“The way we are geared up [digitally] is the way we have been geared up for years. We are now using commercially available architecture, which means it doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg – previously we paid a lot to have things encrypted to CESG [communications electronic security group] standards.”
Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force will issue Apple iPads for some pilots, as 300 iPads have been ordered and Symantec will provide encryption and security for the devices. Each device will help replace kilograms of extra weight and clutter in the cockpit, while allowing staff to have immediate access to flight manuals and documents.
(Image courtesy of Rick Ingham Photography)