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GCN : June 2013
[BrieFing] In announcing the latest Security Techni- cal Implementation Guides (STIGs) for mobile devices, the Defense Information Systems Agency called them a "major stride in building a multi-vendor environ- ment." They are part of an initiative to get the latest technology into the hands of soldiers, sailors and airmen more quickly. "We've had BlackBerrys forever and they are very good devices," said Michael McCarthy, operations director of the Army's Brigade Modernization Com- mand's Mission Command Complex and also head of the Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications (CSDA) program. "But there are limits on what they are used for. The fact that we've got these now gives us more exibility on what devices can be used." The new STIGs set out security policy and con guration requirements for government-issued devices using iOS 6 and the hardened Samsung Knox An- droid operating system. The guidelines do not allow the use of personally owned devices. Use on DOD systems requires Mobile Device Management systems, which includes management of applications loaded on the device as well as the de- vice itself. DISA is expected to award a contract for the iOS system this summer. Management for the Samsung Knox Android is done through the Fixmo Sen- tinel Integrity Veri cation Service. Sentinel originated as an National Se- curity Agency system for BlackBerry and was licensed to Fixmo through the NSA Technology Transfer Program for com- mercialization and expansion to other operating systems, including Android. "There has been a pent-up demand to deploy Android devices in government," said Tyler Lessard, chief product market- ing of cer for Fixmo, which helped to develop the Android STIG, along with Samsung and General Dynamics. The speci c con guration and policy requirements are determined by adminis- trators depending on how and by whom a device is used. The Samsung Knox (as in Fort Knox) Android is an extension of Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) built on a Security-Enhanced Linux-enabled kernel. It supports North American versions of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 and enables Mobile Device Management. Enhanced security features in the operating system include mobile application quarantine, smart card support and host-based rewall. It also can support multiple user security domains for personal and work use, but the STIG does not yet allow this. The iOS 6 STIG is for a general-pur- pose unclassi ed use of an iOS device, including iPhone 4s, iPad2, iPad Mini, and later iOS devices. The iPod touch is not included because its older processor architecture does not support the trusted iOS boot process available in other devices. The military's CSDA program aims to create a more agile process for acquiring technology, McCarthy said. Rather than developing requirements for vendors to meet, it deals with what technology is available and how to get it quickly into the hands of soldiers, and then allowing it to be quickly upgraded or replaced as problems are identi ed and new technol- ogy becomes available. "One of the critical pieces identi ed that had to be addressed was informa- tion assurance," McCarthy said. Studies found that existing commercial mobile devices could either meet or be modi- ed to meet security requirements for "secret" classi cation and below at a reasonable cost if properly con gured and managed. A STIG for Windows 8 Tablet is in the works, McCarthy said. "We're trying to be inclusive, because nobody can tell what will be the best so- lution ve years from now," he said. "We can't just stop when we nd a solution. We have to continue to search for the best solution that is emerging." • Fast lane opens for iOS, Android devices to military BY WILLIAM JACKSON 8 GCN JUNE 2013 • GCN.COM HOW MANY SMART PHONES IN DOD? 8,700 Android OS 470,000 BlackBerrys 41,000 Apple iOS