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GCN : October 2014
26 GCN OCTOBER 2014 • GCN.COM pletely scoped out (to ensure transpar- ent and fair bidding), the team used free, open source technology, as well as in-house development expertise and a scalable cloud architecture. Additionally, NYCDOT delivered a highly repeatable mobile development platform and technology stack that can, and has already been, leveraged to devel- op numerous other innovative solutions. A new iteration of the app is due out this fall. It will offer improved menus so that users can get all the information they need with two clicks. The first click will be for mode of transportation — bus or train — and then another to see the schedule. — Stephanie Kanowitz PROJECT AT A GLANCE PROJECT: iRideNYC OFFICE: New York City Department of Transportation, IT & Telecom TECHNOLOGY USED: Responsive HTML 5 code base; Esri and Mapbox products in addition to the Entity Framework 5.0 object-relational mapper and an open source stack; Python 2.7 to process transit data in real-time and SQLITE, an open source relational database management system; Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for hosting TIME TO IMPLEMENTATION: 6 months BEFORE: Residents of and visitors to New York City had to navigate one of the world’s largest transit systems by walking into a subway station to get arrival times or use information sources that lacked additional transit options. AFTER: IRideNYC, a web-based app, finds users in seconds and automatically provides transit options in addition to information on nearby sights and events, helping redirect in real time the 10 percent of New Yorkers who are lost at any given moment. The military’s desire for secure, reliable and inexpensive mobile devices and apps has led to the development of a simple, open-source web service and framework for vetting mobile applications that can be used across government and by commercial developers. AppVet, which is available as a free open source download, is a framework that speeds testing workflow with a user friendly interface for submitting apps, accessing reports and assessing risk. Application Program Interfaces also en- able AppVet to be easily integrated with a variety of clients, including app stores and third-party analysis tools, both static and dynamic. The tool was developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’sTransApps program by a team headed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and which included George Mason University. “It’s been used as an operational system since 2012,” said Craig Schlenoff, group leader of the Cognition and Col- laboration Systems Group in the Intel- ligent Systems Division at NIST. The first users were in the Defense De- partment, which has used it to securely deploy more than 3,000 commercial smartphones in the battlefield. The departments of Justice and Homeland Security were also interested in adopting AppVet, and it was used to test mobile devices that were used to provide secu- rity for the 2012 presidential inaugura- tion. “It’s slowly picking up steam and people are getting interested in it,” said Schlenoff. NIST was approached by DARPA for help in putting commercial mobile devices and applications more quickly into the hands of warfighters. Their chal- lenge was to quickly vet the security and reliability of the hardware and software for military needs on a large scale. NIST led a multi-organizational effort that de- veloped innovative methods for security, testing and evaluation of hardware and software to securely deploy off-the-shelf smartphones and applications in military field operations. Facing intense pressure, high stakes, and complex technical challenges, the team developed = an unprecedented security infrastructure and evaluation framework, accelerating the deployment of secure devices into a harsh environ- ment. AppVet uses software assurance methods, power and reliability analysis techniques, and standards-based cryp- tographic solutions. The NIST team also designed a unique smartphone security architecture that lets the government keep pace with the fast paced mobile industry while adhering to strict security requirements, replacing the costly model of long development times and govern- ment-specific solutions. The NIST tool is also a meaningful reference implementation for the private sector that can help in the development of secure devices and applications. This AppVet launches apps in the battlefield AppVet made security testing of mobile technologies easier, speeding the latest smartphones to the battlefield
November and December 2014