UK GCHQ approved Windows Phone 8 for government BYOD

imageComputerWeekly reports that the UK Government has approved Windows Phone 8 handsets for use in public sector Bring Your Own Device schemes.

The new End User Devices Security and Configuration Guidance policy was issued this week by CESG, the information security arm of GCHQ, and lays out the policy details the security rules that must be followed for any mobile devices that can access government data.

The list specifies a wide variety of operating systems, including iOS6, Android 4.2 and Windows Phone 8, and requires the phones to be placed in a “known good state” by hard resetting the handset before being enrolled under the management of government IT.

“The critical aspect is that the enterprise takes over the management of the device via a device provisioning process and is able to control all relevant aspects of it throughout the time it accesses official information,” the document says.

The new policy is currently a draft or Beta version, and CESG is seeking further feedback from government departments.

The approval of Windows Phone 8 for government use should open up new markets for the platform in UK, where it has already been winning business from Blackberry, and where it has a cost advantage over iOS and a security advantage over Android.

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