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 announced a policy change. Army 365 upload in a LinkedIn post on Monday.

Army Times previously reported on the frustration some soldiers felt because the new email platform initially didn’t allow users to upload files or send attachments if they weren’t 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 network from home, although the military is considering expanding a “bring your own device” pilot project. Iyer said defense budget issues in Congress are “blocking progress” on that initiative.

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 post. “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 allow 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 go into 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.

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