Mobility

Secret Service wants app store

Smartphone in hand

Secret Service agents wait for President Obama to finish signing memorabilia during a 2011 appearance at Gamesa Technology Corporation in Fairless Hills, Pa. (Secret Service photo by Pete Souza)

The Secret Service wants to start an app store that its employees could use to securely add capabilities to their mobile devices on the fly.

The agency issued a request for information on May 29 in FedBizOps concerning a mobile device management/mobile application store capability that would securely support a range of mobile operating systems, including Blackberry OS, Android, iOS, and Windows 8 across its operations.

The service is conducting market research to find sources that can provide integrated MDM/MAS solutions and services for up to 12,000 mobile devices. The solutions, it said, should be equipped with enterprise level controls to support protective and investigative mission requirements. The capability would support overall development of an agency mobility strategy and would apply to devices that store or process classified and unclassified data.

The service wants the store to enroll, secure, configure, monitor, manage and support mobile devices across its enterprise, supporting its varied duties.

The MDM/MAS, said the agency, should act as application and user level 'traffic cop,' enforcing group configuration policies for network and end devices and institute the policies, security measures and permissions that define the functions a given user could conduct on their mobile device. That capability, it said, would secure the entire user community from compromise from an incorrectly configured device.

Users should be able to perform a variety of functions with the MDM/MAS, including securing their applications including the ability to wipe devices and data remotely, remotely re-provision capabilities, and audit SMS messages, voice and video. The agency also wants to be able to centrally control privacy of data across all its mobile device groups, allowing managers to track and view MDM information with interactive dashboards, as well as enable "blue force" tracking and provide event/alerts notifications to IT administrators.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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