Mobility

Pentagon working on federated app store

LinkedIn image: Rick Walsh.

Rick Walsh is InfoSec Technologist at Army CIO/G6 Cyber. (Image: Rick Walsh / LinkedIn)

Redundant procedures for vetting mobile applications remain a problem, but Pentagon officials are still a long way from implementing a shared catalog to address the situation, according to a mobility specialist in the Army’s CIO office.

“Everybody is testing apps, so nobody is sharing apps, so we’re spending way too much money” on the certification process, Rick Walsh, mobile lead in the Army CIO’s Cybersecurity Directorate, told FCW on June 8.

Walsh estimates it costs $400 for the Army to test and certify an individual mobile application. Multiply that by the amount of redundant testing taking place across the military services and significant savings could be had, he said.

“I don’t want [the Army] to go out and buy an application that the Air Force has already tested and vetted if it’s the same capability,” Walsh said during a panel discussion at the Citrix Mobility Government Summit in Washington, D.C. “Because of the fiscal crisis that … the government is in, I can’t afford to do it twice,” he said of the app-vetting process.

Walsh’s search for a “federated apps store” is an effort to give commanders more access to a growing mobile app market while not cutting corners on security standards.

He said a “problem statement” identifying the issue has been submitted to the Defense Department CIO’s office, and that officials from the Defense Information System Agency and the National Security Agency have taken up the issue.

“We’re still figuring it out, but at least we have a plan to get there,” Walsh said.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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