Five years ago BlackBerry was the standard for mobile communications in the B.C. government. Now only 1

B.C. works to track mobile data spread

With 12,000 fast-evolving mobile devices, the B.C. government needs strict security, Auditor General Carol Bellringer says

A year ago, B.C. government staffers were unsuccessfully searching boxes in a Victoria-area warehouse, trying to find a missing backup hard drive containing 3.4 million education ministry student files.

Now the province is grappling with the next generation of data security, trying to keep track of 12,000 mobile phones and tablet computers that also may contain sensitive government or citizen information.

After data privacy breaches involving medical and other records, and a controversy over “triple deleting” staff emails that may be subject to freedom of information searches, the province’s Chief Information Officer launched a mobile device security program in June.

By the end of 2016 it will cover all 12,000 mobile devices used by the B.C. government, Betty Jo Hughes said in response to a report on data management released Tuesday by B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer.

“Existing controls include password protection, device encryption, ability to remotely wipe a device that is lost or stolen, and the ability to automatically lock a device that is inactive for a period of time,” Hughes wrote in response to the auditor’s report.

Bellringer found gaps in the government policy, including a lack of central monitoring and logging of mobile device activity.

“And, even though government provides security guidance to its employees when they’re issued a mobile device, it’s left to employees to actually apply some of the settings,” Bellringer said. “As a result, appropriate security settings are not always in place.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Prince Rupert citizens concerned by influx of out of province visitors

Local politicians call on Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to limit licenses

Bunkowski’s busted out of the boredom during self isolation

After 14 days Prince Rupert family finally finds freedom

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read