ac3 locks down NSW government smartphones

The security of smartphones used by NSW government staff is set to improve by quarter one of 2012 when managed IT services firm, ac3, rolls out its mobile device management services (MDMS) program.

MDMS is designed to help NSW government agencies better manage and secure its increasing fleets of smartphones and tablets.

ac3 chief executive, Phil McCrea, said that the program was designed to address the security risks associated with government information stored on smartphones. It will also be managing the mobile devices from procurement through to recycling.

The company, which is jointly owned by the NSW government and eight NSW universities, has partnered with mobile management services provider, Techhead Interactive, to offer MDMS.

“The driver for this has come from several of our government clients who were lamenting to us the problems they had with their increasing proliferation of mobile phones,” McCrea said.

“At present we have four of our state government clients who are interested which is the reason why we brought it to market,” he said.

However, he was not able to name the agencies as the company was still in discussions with them.

The agencies that it plans to target employ people who are out on the road such as field workers and nurses.

“A few years ago, if you lost a phone there were previously only a few personal numbers but now that phones also contain emails and corporate data,” McCrea said.

To help combat this risk, the company is offering an obliterate data service where the smartphone or tablet will be automatically wiped if it is reported lost or stolen.

McCrea added that the average life of government issued smartphones was two years so the disposal of devices was an environmental issue which they hoped to solve with the recycling service.

“Our local council has a collection every six months but no one is going to wait that long to dispose of a phone,” he said.

If the MDMS program was successful, ac3 would look at offering it to universities in NSW as well as government agencies in other states.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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