The new guidance covers a host of new operating systems including Android, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone, Chrome OS and Ubuntu

Public sector mobile security guidance released

New security guidance for public sector IT professionals on how to safely deploy the latest mobile devices has been released.

CESG, the information security arm of GCHQ, today released new online guidance for using remote devices in an official capacity, covering a host of new operating systems such as Android, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone, Chrome OS and Ubuntu.

Building on the Cabinet Office's End User Device Security Framework, a security policy for those working with official information, the guidance provides details on how particular platforms can be configured to achieve the key security recommendations contained in the Framework.

The guidance also contains good practice advice on system architectures for remote and mobile working; details of particular configuration choices for each platform; and notes particular security risks and issues that organisations need to be aware of.

Jonathan Hoyle, director general for Government and Industry Cyber Security at GCHQ, said: “Finding the right balance between security and usability is critical for all organisations and we have put this principle at the heart of our work.

“This guidance is the result of close collaboration between CESG’s cyber security experts, our partners in industry and the public sector. It provides an excellent set of recommendations for anyone trying to enable secure business using the latest technologies in a cost-effective way.”

The organisation was keen to stress that publication of the new guidance did not signify “approval" of these platforms by CESG, but instead hoped its guidance would help government and public sector organisations manage their risks when deploying these devices.

The guidance seeks to take a balanced approach between security and usability, helping to reduce common risks to an organisation's information while still providing the flexibility and ease of use required.

Liam Maxwell, the UK government’s Chief Technology Officer, said: "This is precisely the sort of approach to security we need; simple, pragmatic, understandable."

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