The Department of Defense has approved the use of Apple and Samsung smartphones. The devices will be available to Pentagon workers starting next week. Apple iOS 6 devices have been approved for use alongside Samsung Android phones that have been hardened with the company’s Knox security lockdown. The Pentagon is also expected to allow BlackBerry BB10 smartphones on its high-security data networks.
News of the move comes shortly after Apple received iOS FIPS 140-2 certification via the CoreCrypto kernel module.
In the past the DoD was skeptical to allow any smartphones on its network that did not come from BlackBerry. However, the Pentagon in March got the ball rolling by announcing plans to purchase upwards of 650,000 Apple iOS devices for military deployment.
The DoD admits that the Samsung Knox Security suite known as Android “Vanilla” does not meet security requirements “out-of-the-box” like iOS and BB10 does. However, the mobile devices can be tweaked to offer the type of security expected for Pentagon officials and the men and women who serve the US military in the field.
According to a recent report the iOS purchase includes 120,000 iPads, 100,000 iPad minis, 200,000 iPod touches, and 210,000 iPhones of various models. More than half of the devices will be deployed in areas of war. Remaining devices will be given to support personal and contractors working for the Pentagon.
The brand new smartphone purchases will be used to replace BlackBerry devices that run on legacy OS’ which are dated by today’s technological standards.
With higher speed mobile data networks and new technologies available it was only a matter of time before the Department of Defense made the switch to modernized equipment.
Do you think allowing BlackBerry BB10, Apple iOS, and Samsung Android devices in the field and at the pentagon is a smart move by the Department of Defense?