DISA To Open Mobile Mangement Program Office

on January 30, 2012 at 2:41 PM

The Defense Information Systems Agency has opened a program office to manage Defense Department mobile devices and the applications that run on them, according to David Bennett, DISA’s acting component acquisition executive.

The new agency will also run an online store providing DOD users with applications and mobile device management (MDM) services, Bennett said, according to a Jan. 27 report by Government Computer News. Bennett commented on the initiative at an IDGA Network Enabled Operations conference in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 24.

“It will be a cross-agency effort that ties in what we’re doing on the network side as well as what we’re doing on the applications side,” said David Bennett,

As a part of these efforts, Bennett said that DISA issued a request for information Dec. 8 to solicit ideas from industry for ways to run an MDM and applications store. Industry has until Feb. 3 to make recommendations.

The DISA request outlined its interest in ideas and expertise around four primary areas:

Software Distribution – The ability to manage and support mobile application use including deploy, install, update, delete or block.

Policy Management – Development, control and operations of DoD enterprise mobile access, connectivity, and security policy.

Inventory Management – Beyond hardware inventory management, this includes provisioning and support.

Security Management – The implementation and enforcement of DoD-level device security, authentication and encryption.

Bennett stressed that DISA is looking hard at security methods revolving identity and access management, according to the GCN report, adding that DISA would be asking the question, “Have you locked down the devices?”

He also emphasized the need to test applications in a consistent manner and ensure reciprocity between accrediting authorities and applications so that when an application is loaded onto a site, its pedigree can be traced.

“You know what it’s going to do or what it is not going to do,” Bennett said. Users downloading applications don’t check the pedigrees of the applications in an online store, he added.

The agency is seeking a balance between ease of use from a DOD perspective and the need to have a pedigree that is vetted to ensure its security, he told the audience.