Mobility

DISA claims progress in classified mobile

About 1,000 Defense Department officials now have access to classified information via their mobile devices through a Defense Information Systems Agency program, a benchmark that a DISA official hailed as progress.

Jack Wilmer, DISA's infrastructure development executive, said the program has been fueled by sharp demand at DOD for classified mobile access, and he indicated more is to come.

"There's a lot more that we could do with the devices," Wilmer said April 20 at an AFCEA conference in Washington. Officials from DISA and the National Security Agency are examining what features can be added to mobile devices with classified access, he added.

The uptick in classified mobility solutions has been gradual since the capability was introduced last year and will likely continue apace, Wilmer told FCW.

He also said DISA has met with experts to discuss how best to address threats posed by malware.

On the unclassified side, DISA officials are exploring how to extend a "derived credentials" capability to other agencies so that, for example, Common Access Card credentials can be loaded onto a device, Wilmer said.

The mobile devices DISA is deploying extend to the top-secret level. DISA Director Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn announced in November 2015 that the agency had fielded its first batch of top-secret devices. Officials plan to deploy 3,000 secret-level smartphones by the second quarter of this year.

Wilmer said last month that DISA wants to find a single provider to handle classified and unclassified mobile device management services. A draft request for proposals is expected this summer.

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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