DOD moves toward mobile device buys

While the Defense Department is still wrestling with the details of how it will manage and provide security for smart-phone and tablet deployments, it is already beginning to take some tentative steps in acquiring handheld devices.

Last fall, the Defense Information Systems Agency certified the Dell Streak 5 smart phone/tablet as the first device using the Android 2.2 operating system cleared for use on DOD’s secure but unclassified communications networks.

The Streak 5 is no longer available commercially, but the military likes the form factor, John Marinho, director of Dell's enterprise mobility solutions, told GCN.
 
A key part of the Dell Streak’s security is provided by Good Technology’s Mobility Suite, which is a key part of a mobile device management system that DISA approved in January. Because the Army’s interest goes beyond the Dell Streak and extends to all other devices running Android, the newly approved mobile security system will allow the service to migrate to other platforms.

The system allows users to access secure data with their devices from a secure server, which prevents sensitive information from being stored on a smart phone or tablet, where it could potentially be stolen or compromised, explained Chris Roberts, Good’s vice president for public sector business.
 
Other commercially developed technologies targeted for DOD and federal government use are also becoming available.

Motorola recently released its Assured Mobile Environment (AME) 1000 Secure Mobile Telephone Solution, a Motorola ES400 enterprise smart phone with a built-in cryptography and certificate management module coupled with a software-based secure voice application. The addition of a hardware-based encryption system provides greater information assurance than software-based measures alone because it makes a device much harder to compromise, said Gary Schluckbier, director of Motorola's secure products group.

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