DISA office to manage mobile devices, online app store
The Defense Information Systems Agency has opened a program office that will focus on managing Defense Department mobile devices and the applications that run on them.
The new agency will also run an online store providing DOD users with applications and mobile device management (MDM) services.
“It will be a cross-agency effort that ties in what we’re doing on the network side as well as what we’re doing on the applications side,” said David Bennett, DISA's acting component acquisition executive, who spoke Jan. 24 at the IDGA Network Enabled Operations conference in Alexandria, Va.
As a part of these efforts, Bennett said that DISA issued a request for information in December to solicit ideas from industry for ways to run an MDM and applications store. The agency is seeking industry feedback to help it decide on the right path to provide these services, he said.
A number of considerations remain, Bennett said. One is security, especially in areas such as identity and access management. “One of the key areas going forward is ‘Have you locked down the devices?’ ” he said.
There are also challenges in ensuring that applications are tested in a consistent manner and that there is information assurance reciprocity between accrediting authorities and applications so that when an application is loaded onto a site, there is a pedigree that can be traced.
“You know what it’s going to do or what it is not going to do,” Bennett said. Users downloading applications don’t check the pedigrees of the applications in an online store, he added.
The agency is seeking a balance between ease of use from a DOD perspective and the need to have a pedigree that is vetted to ensure its security. There is a great deal of ongoing work on in this area, he said.