How The VA Eliminated Data Breaches On iPhones And Other Mobile Devices

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The VA's mobile security chief offers IT leaders five excellent tips for securing mobile devices.
The VA's mobile security chief offers IT leaders five excellent tips for securing mobile devices.

Like many federal agencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs has embarked on the journey of integrating iPhones and iPads as mobile solutions. The agency currently has 20,000 mobile devices that includes iPhones and iPads along with some BlackBerries and a small number of Android devices. Despite the range of devices, the VA has been very active in trying to eliminate mobile data breaches and, according to the VA’s director of Mobile and Security Assurance Donald Kachman, the agency’s campaign has been extremely successful.

Kachman credits encryption technologies with as a major factor in that success – 99% of all VA data is now secured around the clock on mobile devices and desktop PCs. The security approach is one that can be a model for any organization.

Despite the DOJ’s Anti-Trust Case, The U.S. Government Is Happy To Sell Ebooks Via The iBookstore

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The U.S. Government Printing Office now offers reports, documents, and ebooks via Apple's iBookstore.
The U.S. Government Printing Office now offers reports, documents, and ebooks via Apple's iBookstore.

In a somewhat ironic move, the U.S. government has entered into an ebook deal with Apple that will see a range of government reports, documents, and ebooks published in Apple’s iBookstore. The partnership, which was announced earlier this week, coincides with the Department of Justice’s latest legal filings in its anti-trust suit against Apple.

The deal with the Government Printing Office (GPO) will make a wide swath of documents and ebooks available through the iBookstore. While some government documents are available for free, a number of documents and full-length ebooks are not.

Seven Surprisingly Helpful iOS App Development Tips From Federal Agencies

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What lessons can businesses and app developers learn from the federal government?
What lessons can businesses and app developers learn from the federal government?

The U.S. federal government may not be where you’d expect to see mobile innovation or find good app development suggestions. While there’s still a public sector bureaucracy in government, a number of government agencies are beginning to develop new ways to connect with citizens and invest in mobile technologies for internal use.

Granted, most agencies are doing so because of requirements under the Obama administration’s 21st Century Digital Government Strategy. One of which is that every federal agency  must make two high-value, customer-facing services available via mobile devices over the next year.  Still, the innovation is happening and the agencies that have already taken up the challenge are good models for agencies that have yet to do so.

They’re also good sources of advice for any organization that is beginning to develop an iOS or mobile app strategy.

RIM’s BlackBerry Loses The Mobile Security Crown To Apple’s iPhone and iPad

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IT administrators have finally warmed up to the iPhone and now rank it as more secure than the BlackBerry.
IT administrators have finally warmed up to the iPhone and now rank it as more secure than the BlackBerry.

The perception of the BlackBerry as the most secure and manageable mobile platform seems to be faltering. According to a new report, senior IT administrators now consider Apple’s iOS to be the most secure and manageable platform – despite the fact that RIM offers ten times the number of security and device management policies that Apple provides in iOS.

VA And Bon Jovi Launch Mobile App Contest To Help Homeless Vets

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Vet Reach Out is one of the finalists in the Project REACH app contest sponsored by the VA and JBJ Soul Foundation.
Vet Reach Out is one of the finalists in the Project REACH app contest sponsored by the VA and JBJ Soul Foundation.

Department of Veterans Affairs is no stranger iOS devices or to developing custom apps to help deliver key services to veterans and their families. In fact, the VA’s CIO last year said that the agency needed to become “iPad friendly” in order to effectively support the agency’s physicians, nurse, and other medical staff and an iOS pilot program was launched earlier this year.

More recently, the VA has been looking for ways that mobile technology can help homeless veterans find food, shelter, and other critical resources. To achieve that goal and raise awareness of veteran homelessness across the country (one out of six homeless adults in America is a veteran), the VA has teamed up with JBJ Soul Foundation, the non-profit charity created by music legend Jon Bon Jovi to launch an iOS/Android app contest called Project REACH.