- News & Events
October 11, 2013
In a departure from previous Department of Defense (DoD) practices that called for the development of custom hardware and software apps, Teri Takai, the Department of Defense’s Chief Information Officer, has set out a new mobile device strategy. It calls for incorporating smartphones and tablets that use a variety of commercial systems and offer a more cost-effective solution.
Currently, according Matt Cox in defensetech.org, “The military pays upwards of $3,000 per Blackberry for the security system to read classified data. Under this new plan, the Defense Department is confident it can work with commercial vendors to significantly cut those costs and outfit more troops with smartphones and tablets capable of carrying classified data.
“Many troops own smartphones and iPads whose technology far exceed(s) the dated Blackberries most often issued by the military. Defense leaders see this plan as a step toward helping the military catch up to current technology.”
Takai observed, “’This is not simply about embracing the newest technology — it is about keeping the department’s workforce relevant in an era when information accessibility and cyber security play a critical role in mission success.”
Quoting a DoD memo, Cox believes what the Department of Defense is seeking to achieve is a faster process for developing, purchasing, certifying and distributing smartphones and tablets.
A fedscoop.com piece notes that, “The (implementation) plan was developed in conjunction with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA).” The plan calls for a new NSA security architecture for classified devices that permits the use of commercial products for classified communications. This is a security first.
The goal of the plan is to develop “an enterprise mobile device management capability and application store to support approximately 100,000 multivendor devices by February 2014. DoD currently has more than 600,000 commercial mobile devices in operational and pilot use, including 470,000 Blackberries, 41,000 Apple Operating Systems and 8,700 Android Systems.”
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Posted by Dan Rampe
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