Addressing Regulatory Compliance in Government-Owned, Single-Use Devices

Government-owned devices can either be employee- or customer-facing. Government workers use employee devices to monitor and report on their tasks. Meanwhile, the customer-facing devices give citizens a self-service option when using government facilities. 

The extensive availability of single-use devices in many government facilities is a testament to their effectiveness. Of course, the challenge is selecting the right device, brand, and manufacturers to entrust with the work. For this, regulatory agencies set strict standards and requirements that each vendor or manufacturer must fully accept. Only by passing regulatory compliance can their products be allowed to work for the government.

Why Government-Owned, Single-Use Devices Need Proper Security

Like any other business entity, the government wants to get the most from its single-use device investments. Each device should pass quality assurance tests and must be safe to operate right out of the box. 

As smart devices, these units are likely to handle private data during the course of work. Bad actors who snoop into government devices to try to steal data shouldn’t have an easy time breaking in. Of course, most public-facing government devices don’t store sensitive information. However, enterprising cybercriminals use these devices as a way to access the internal devices that hold confidential data. 

At the same time, access to devices should remain limited to authorised users. Citizens using self-service kiosks have no business checking a device’s system settings or browsing files. 

The burden to keep devices intact remains on the administrator’s side. IT security teams should make sure that customers can only interact with authorised programs. And, more importantly, that they can only input data and have limited access to their information. 

Managing Regulatory Compliance in Government Devices

Due to the continuously evolving nature of information technology, government oversight continues to play catch up to these machines. However, governing agencies already issued rules concerning the fair use, safety, and security of single-use devices that emphasise keeping data private and secure. Among the common regulatory guidelines include good manufacturing practice certification, quality assurance, and environmental, emission, and waste disposal standards. 

Chief among the many requirements for single-use devices is the inclusion of reasonable security features. At face value, this regulatory compliance should go to manufacturers instead of end-users. Vendors should have the burden of complying with minimum security requirements and providing educational materials so customers become aware of security risks. 

More importantly, suppliers should have customer service on standby to provide product support and assistance. Considering the variety of single-use devices in circulation today, many security issues remain unresolved for the most part. 

Creating a Mobile Security Strategy for Better Regulatory Compliance

One proactive mobile security strategy that helps with regulatory compliance is the use of an effective mobile device management (MDM) solution. This platform oversees all connected devices to the network and takes charge to manage, maintain, and secure them all. Instead of relying on the ground team to work on each device in their area, the device manager can keep devices in optimal working condition and compliant with all government requirements. 

Management

Managing single-use devices means assigning access credentials and restricting access depending on permission levels. Not all device operators need access to certain areas. For instance: 

– End-users can only access the front-facing apps and view or submit data. 

– Operators can boot devices and prepare them for use by launching official apps and loading the database. 

– Managers, executives, and data analysts can look at generated reports and usage statistics to gather insights. 

– IT admins and service team members can access the system, install or delete apps, and perform maintenance services, but they can’t look at or copy private data. 

Maintenance

Maintenance ensures that the device runs on updated software and firmware. Most vulnerability issues stem from the use of outdated software that still has security holes. Keeping the operating system and all applications updated patches these gaps and ensures everything is in working order. In addition, maintenance can include connecting to individual devices via remote access to make spot repairs, roll back installed versions, or adjust individual settings. 

Security

Securing devices is of paramount importance, even if doesn’t involve regulatory compliance. Given the number of customers the typical government agency handles in a day, some enterprising individuals might try to hack into the system or steal the device outright. 

Implementing security measures enables the administrator to connect remotely to a lost or stolen unit and shut it down or disable it. This prevents further access to the device until security teams can retrieve or recover the unit. If there’s a danger that a device might be compromised, admins can remotely wipe all data off the device and render it useless to thieves. 

Enforcing Organisation-Wide Policies for Single-Use Devices

A reliable mobile device management platform can help enforce organisation-wide policies that govern the use of single-use devices. 

The administration of access levels is one way to ensure that only authorised users can operate government devices. Implementing directives such as regular password maintenance or renewing expired authorisations also helps keep the entire system secure.

What’s more, instead of requiring operators to physically turn in devices for updating, the device manager can assume full access and perform remote over-the-air maintenance. This makes it easier for the entire agency to keep its hardware operating at optimum levels. It also minimises downtime due to servicing. 

Maintain Regulatory Compliance With MDM Software

Regulatory compliance for single-use devices is easier to accomplish if you have a competent mobile device management solution on hand. Instead of deploying IT service teams in the field to manually inspect and update devices, administrators can simply connect remotely and perform maintenance and quality assurance tasks. 

As government agencies plan to invest in single-use devices to boost operational efficiency, they should also seriously consider a reputable device manager. This small addition to the budget can greatly improve device maintenance, reduce service calls and field visits, and secure devices from external threats. More importantly, the right MDM software ensures better regulatory compliance through efficient device management. 

Nadav Avni

Nadav Avni is a Chief Marketing Officer at Radix Technologies.

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