Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Portable Computing Devices Data Security

MnDOT Policy DM005
View/print signed policy (PDF)

Policy statement

Portable computing devices constitute a unique risk to MnDOT’s data, and so must be authorized, managed and used so that there is no unauthorized disclosure of not public data and that the use of these devices does not pose a security threat to any of MnDOT’s information resources. Use of these devices must comply with records management, data practices and litigation related obligations and activities. This policy applies to portable computing devices (whether MnDOT-owned or personally-owned) which connect to the MnDOT network or access MN.IT Services1 messaging services (such as email, contacts, calendar and reminders) via mobile data synchronization technology.

Reason for policy

Information is a vital MnDOT asset and requires protection from unauthorized access, disclosure or alteration, and protection from interruptions in access and use. Portable computing devices can provide increased flexibility for employee productivity and to the delivery of MnDOT services.

Because of their size and value, the use of these devices also results in an increased risk of devices being stolen or lost. The disclosure of not-public data through theft or loss poses a significant risk to the public’s trust in MnDOT. In addition, the use of these devices presents increased security challenges, as poorly managed or poorly selected portable computing devices can serve as the means through which computer viruses, Trojans and other malware can be introduced to MnDOT’s network and other information technology resources.

Who needs to know this policy

All MnDOT employees and other users of MnDOT resources must follow State of Minnesota policy, MnDOT policy and any additional standards, procedures, and other guidance regarding the use of portable computing devices in MnDOT so that the security, confidentiality, integrity and availability of MnDOT data is ensured.



Authorized portable computing devices are restricted to those devices that MnDOT has determined to meet all of the following requirements. Devices that do not meet all these requirements are not authorized to be used in MnDOT.

  • Technical capability (natively or through third party products) to comply with MnDOT security requirements, and
  • Device selection requirements (e.g., type, manufacturer, features), and
  • Cost effectiveness requirements, and
  • Can be securely managed in the current MnDOT IT infrastructure

Not Public Data

Any data collected, created, maintained or disseminated by a state agency which is classified other than public. This includes confidential, private, nonpublic or protected nonpublic data as those terms are defined in the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minnesota Statute 13.02.

Portable Computing Device

For purposes of this policy, the term means portable devices such as PDAs (personal digital assistants) or other such devices capable of storing and processing data, and connecting to a network. This includes tablet computers or tablets (example iPad) and smartphones (examples Android, iPhones and Blackberries).

Security Requirements

  • Portable Computing Device Authorization – Portable computing devices must be authorized by MnDOT (see
    definition for Portable Computing Devices)
  • Authentication/password – Must follow all MN.IT Services requirements, Enterprise Security Portable Computing Device Standard (MN.IT Services)
  • Encryption of Data – All MnDOT data stored on portable computing devices must be encrypted by one of the following means:
    • An approved, third part product that is enforce through a controlled configuration and cannot be disabled by the user
    • Encryption this is enforced through a technical policy or localized applications that cannot be overwritten by the user
  • Remote Data Wipe and Automatic Erase of Data – Portable computing devices must have the capability to:
    • Be remotely erased (or “wiped”) by the agency or service provider
    • Automatically erase all data after a set amount of failed authentication attempts


End users who want to use a personally-owned portable computing device must use the Agreement for End User form (see Forms/Instruction below).


Assistant Commissioners

  • Determine acceptable business risk for the use of portable computing devices and MnDOT’s records management, litigation hold, and other regulatory or legal requirements.
  • Ensure that the requirements of the MN.IT Services standard on portable computing devices is incorporated into agreements with third parties to ensure proper controls are in place for the protection of state information assets.
  • Assign MnDOT managers and staff to develop any necessary standards, guidance, process or business procedures necessary for the appropriate management of portable computing devices in MnDOT.

Office of Information & Technology Support (OI&TS)

  • Provide awareness of the requirements of this policy to users and administrators of portable computing devices.
  • Maintain an escalation process to ensure lost or stolen devices are addressed promptly.
  • Create and maintain policies, standards and procedures for secure use of portable computing devices.


  • Follow any special guidance on who should be assigned MnDOT owned portable computing devices
  • Authorize usage and approve connectivity to entity resources for portable computing devices for employees as appropriate.
  • As directed, submit and/or keep copies of signed agreements/acknowledgement forms from supervisors in the appropriate location(s).
  • Take appropriate disciplinary or corrective action whenever MnDOT or state policy on portable computing devices is violated by persons they supervise.

IT Service Desk, Local IT Support Staff, Administrative Staff

  • Refrain from enabling connectivity or access for any portable computing device which does not meet the requirements of this policy or other standards or guidance.
  • Take appropriate steps to ensure that portable computing devices which are reported as lost or stolen are located, disabled or suspended from service as needed.
  • Refrain from engaging in any activity to circumvent the security or other requirements for the use of portable computing devices.


  • Follow this policy and any standards or guidance regarding the use of portable computing devices in MnDOT.
  • Follow the Statewide Policy on Appropriate Use of Electronic Communication and Technology
  • Follow proper escalation and notification procedures when a portable device is lost or stolen (detailed guidance is included in MnDOT’s iHUB, A to Z, under “lost electronic devices” and under “stolen electronic devices”).
  • Follow all approval requirements and sign agreement before using a personally owned device.
  • Never leave a portable computing device unattended, unless the device is in a secure (preferably locked) location.
  • Refrain from engaging in any activity to circumvent the security or other requirements for the use of portable computing devices.
  • Personally owned devices may not be connected to MnDOT’s network or access the MN.IT Services mail message system unless the employee has supervisory approval, the device meets all security and other requirements, and the employee has signed the Agreement for End User (for employees only).


Frequently asked questions

If I use my personal smartphone for Webmail or Web portal, does that mean that I have to sign a user agreement and MnDOT could wipe my device?

No. Webmail and Web portal are designed so that the connection is secure, and none of the information is being stored on your personal phone.

What are the other documents associated with portable computing devices in MnDOT and where can I find them?

MnDOT personnel are working on various documents relating to portable computing devices. As they are finalized and published, we will try to post them here in the FAQs.

Many organizations are moving toward a “Bring Your Own Device” environment where employees use their own personally owned devices for work. It seems like it would save MnDOT money because MnDOT would not have to purchase devices for employees, and employees would be more careful with their own devices. And, it would simplify things for employees, not having to carry two devices all the time at work.

Some organizations are moving toward having employees use their personal devices at work. The primary growth in this area is in the private sector. In those businesses, the use of personal devices is often limited to a specific work area, such as sales. Because it is a state agency, MnDOT has responsibilities and restrictions to protect data and to provide data when requested under the Data Practices Act, which do not apply to private businesses. The necessary infrastructure to protect and manage portable computing devices is substantial, and the funds to buy, test, implement and support the use of personally owned devices must be prioritized along with other important activities such as the consolidation of data centers, and the IT consolidation mandated by the State legislature.

Why is it such a challenge to manage the security of devices like smartphones (iPhones, Droids)?

A primary benefit of mobile devices such as smartphones is the ability to communicate with other technology sources (connectivity). It is also the primary risk. Connectivity makes the device powerful and useful. It also provides new and difficult to control access to MnDOT and State resources. MnDOT and the State of Minnesota regulate access to these resources to known devices that meet minimum security requirements. Mobile device management also provides the ability to remotely wipe and control applications on remote devices. This is important when the devices may contain sensitive data or access to sensitive data. Controlling applications installed on mobile devices also reduces our exposure to malware such as keystroke loggers, data mules and viruses. However, the ability to manage applications requires an access control infrastructure which is not currently in place.

Related information



August 8th, 2012


Please go to the MnDOT Org Chart to find specific contact information: Org Chart.

Responsible Senior Officer

Deputy Commissioner/Chief Engineer

Policy Owner

Office Director
Office of Human Resources

Policy Contact

Labor Relations Manager
Office of Human Resources