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Pentagon to Open App Store, Speed Device Review

Pentagon to Open App Store, Speed Device Review - top government contractors - best government contracting event
Site: FEMA.gov

The Defense Department expects to launch a Pentagon-only application store for secure mobile devices within a month and a half, Federal News Radio reports. 

The Pentagon aims to model its new app store after Apple’s, featuring  variants of apps already available as well as a percentage that are specialized for Pentagon focusses. 

The Pentagon also plans to have quicker security review processes for mobile devices as part of its overarching effort to build a department-wide infrastructure to support mobile devices, the report said.

The mobile infrastructure would support next generation mobile devices apps for the military based on Apple, Google, Blackberry and Microsoft operating systems.

The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to complete the infrastructure within 15 months and will start rolling out usable enterprise mobile capabilities next quarter, Bruce Bennett, DISA program executive officer for communications, said. 

Bennett said DISA intends to streamline various mobile infrastructures and app store pilots being developed and used throughout the Pentagon. DISA will create a common service and then allow each organization to do what is unique to them, he said. 

DISA will become the military's single interface for network providers in order to consolidate security protocols and service contracts. Mobile programs already in place can continue to operate if they are interoperable with DISA’s systems, Bennett explained.

DISA will circulate security requirements for mobile apps in 60 days after which vendors can submit requirement-compliant apps for the new app store. The Pentagon’s certification lab will certify or reject their usability within 72 hours. DISA will look at apps most suitable for warfighters and potentially ask developers to disable certain components, Bennett said.

While the Pentagon’s plan to certify apps promises to be speedy, the agency’s method to approve and modify devices has historically taken longer with the iPhone and for Android devices, the report said. 

Bennett said a final security technical implementation guide for Apple operating systems is very close as well as STIGs for Android tablets. The first device approval is the biggest hurdle, Bennett said. 

DISA plans to accelerate the approval process by delegating the STIG responsibilities to a full-time certification agency within the Pentagon, Bennett said. 

The agency also plans to eventually run at least two app stores for classified and unclassified materials. These plans could still take a few years, Bennett said.  

DISA will also hold an industry day in the coming months in order to discuss the Pentagon’s new mobile framework. 

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