In exchange, the Army allows file downloads for Army 365 emails on personal devices

After months of soldiers complaining that security features on the Army’s new email platform were preventing them from performing basic tasks, the Army’s top IT official on Monday announced a change to the Army 365 download policy. LinkedIn position.

army time Previously reported the frustration some soldiers felt because the new email platform initially did not allow users to upload files or send attachments if they were not on a government network.

Currently only government computers – which are in short supply, especially for guard and reserve units – are the only way to connect to the home network, although the military plans to expand a “bring your own device” pilot. Iyer said the problems with the defense budget in Congress are “blocking progresson this initiative, however.

This left many part-time troops with no way to perform even basic administrative tasks like signing a PDF document outside of drill weekends unless they went to an armory. Some active duty units also suffer from a deficit of working government computers, sometimes leaving their troops to perform such tasks on personal devices.

“We heard your comments loud and clear,” Army Information Chief Raj Iyer said in the message. “The inability to download and digitally sign PDFs and forms from Army365 Email using your personal devices has been a pain for many of you, especially the Guard and Reserve. “

The service’s first-ever civilian information officer explained that the rapid deployment of Army 365 required security measures.

“When we initially deployed Army365, we weren’t prepared for the cybersecurity risks associated with allowing users to upload/download files from your personal devices,” Iyer said. “We now have a solution that we are currently implementing to enable you to do just that.”

But the security restrictions on uploads ironically created another security risk – soldiers were circumventing the restrictions by sending documents to their personal email addresses, potentially endangering sensitive information by inadvertently violating procedures for handling data. information.

The policy changes are expected to take effect “in the coming days,” Iyer added.

Davis Winkie is a staff reporter covering the military. He originally joined Military Times as a reporting intern in 2020. Prior to journalism, Davis worked as a military historian. He is also a human resources officer in the Army National Guard.