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GCN : October and November 2016
GCN OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 • GCN.COM 47 through for reference during flight. With the app, pilots now have touchscreen access to even more information, including 3-D moving maps and charts, a comprehensive airport facility directory, instrument approach proce- dures, arrival and departure procedures, takeoff and land- ing minimums, and weather information. “The easy access to world- wide data reduces planning time and eliminates prep- ping of paper products,” Farnham said. Aero’s advantages are gain- ing international recognition, he added. Recently, a U.S. military ally asked for assis- tance in using Aero to set up its own electronic flight bag program. — Suzette Lohmeyer Software assurance goes mobile A DHS research project proves that reducing the risk of third-party applications is not such a remote possibility A mobile workforce is emerg- ing faster than many agencies are prepared to handle. But a new mobile security program, developed by the Depart- ment of Homeland Security, is proving that reducing the security risks of third-party applications is not such a remote possibility. As the use of mobile ap- plications has risen among government employees, so too has the risk of becoming a target of hackers. Thus, gov- ernment agencies are seeking technologies to help ensure the security of the mobile applications their employees use. To that end, DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate deployed Kryptowire’s mobile app software assurance tools, a cloud-based research and development system for as- sessing risk, analyzing vulner- abilities and archiving mobile applications. Using the tools, informa- tion security professionals can analyze the functional capabilities of and essentially vet third-party mobile appli- cations without having access to source code. In addition, the program enables system managers to act swiftly to en- force agency security policies, including preventing access to files and sensitive data, device sensors, cameras and networks, which is especially critical because “the technol- ogy landscape is changing at an ever-faster rate, and the security stakes are becom- ing higher,” said Vincent Sritapan, program manager for mobile security research and development at the DHS DRIVING SAVINGS FOR GSA FLEET MANAGEMENT The Fleet Management System to Go app has improved operational performance and delivered about half a million dollars in savings by replacing handheld scanners with smartphones The General Services Administration’s Office of Fleet Management handles more than 200,000 vehicles for federal agencies through its fleet management system, which houses and tracks data for all of GSA’s leased vehicles. The new Fleet Management System to Go (FMS2GO) mobile app allows GSA em- ployees and their contractors to update the system, and it has eliminated labor-inten- sive manual data transfers, nightly batch processing and expensive handheld scanners. The Android app can run on government-issued or employee-owned mobile devices. It uses the devices’ built-in camera and microphone to perform barcode scan- ning and voice recognition, thereby reducing data-entry errors and the need for extra equipment. Field users can load vehicle information into the app, scan barcodes to confirm the receipt of a license plate and record inventory directly into GSA’s database. They can then assign vehicles to customer agencies, have them scanned to confirm shipments and end the assignments once the vehicles are no longer needed. For example, when new vehicles are delivered, FMS2GO records initial vehicle infor- mation, and when a customer exchanges an old vehicle for a new one, the app quickly assigns a new vehicle to that customer and terminates the old one. Fleet managers can also manage and record inventory on site and at delivery locations, and all transac- tions are instantly updated in the fleet management system. Although the app still runs on GSA’s Unisys ClearPath mainframe, it extends the mainframe’s capabilities to mobile devices through a series of robust application pro- gramming interfaces created with ClearPath ePortal middleware. By providing GSA employees with real-time data access, FMS2GO has improved op- erational performance and delivered about half a million dollars in savings by replacing handheld scanners with smartphones. Development and operational costs have also been reduced, and cumbersome software updates have been replaced with automatic app releases through the Google Play store. — Amanda Ziadeh 1116gcn_032-055.indd 47 10/6/16 10:25 AM
August and September 2016
January and February 2017