Using Mobile Computing Devices at UF
Elias G. Eldayrie, Vice President and CIO
Lost or stolen mobile computing devices used by UF employees, like phones, laptops, and tablets, can pose a critical threat to our confidential information, system security, and institutional reputation. Whether a device is personally-owned or university-owned, exposure of confidential university data like student grades and patient information can also lead to significant expense for the university–as well as personal liability for a UF faculty or staff member.
Recently, the Office of Internal Audit concluded a review of the compliance with the university’s policy on the use of mobile computing and storage devices. The report findings show that, while it is important to support a “bring your own device” (BYOD) environment for the university community, there are significant risks associated when using personal devices to send and receive UF email, share data, and conduct other academic and business tasks.
In 2011, the university enacted the Mobile Computing and Storage Devices policy. This policy and associated standard defines what level of security is required on all mobile computing and storage devices used to conduct university academic and business activities. It is the responsibility of the department (for devices purchased by them) or the individual device owner to ensure any mobile computing and storage device used in connection with UF systems and data is encrypted. This includes laptops computers, smartphones, tablets, USB thumb drives, and any other portable device capable of storing user data.
In recognition of the length of phone contracts and other purchasing issues related to mobile devices, the university community was given two years to be fully compliant with the policy. Full compliance with this policy is now expected. There is a document available online – Mobile Computing and Storage Devices Standard – as well as a mobile device website, that can help the UF community understand and adhere to the Mobile Computing and Storage Devices policy. In addition to the website, departments and end users may contact their local IT support or the UF Computing HelpDesk at (352) 392-HELP (4357).
Please share this information with members of your college, department, or unit who do not receive the Administrative Memo notification emails.