DISA details Defensewide wireless and mobile device plan


System will include global service, device management and an apps store.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has jump-started the procurement process for a secure departmentwide global mobile wireless system, software to manage smartphones and computers, and mobile application store.

The Mobility Program Management Office should provide broadband “enterprise-level classified and secure unclassified mobile communications services, ensuring interoperability, increased security, access to information and reliable service to the warfighter anywhere at any time,” in partnership with the National Security Agency, DISA said Wednesday.

Smartphones and computers connected to this network will operate through a mobile device management system that DISA said will act as the security “traffic cop” for the wireless network and will ensure the “entire user community is not compromised by an incorrectly configured device.”

DISA said it also plans to set up a mobile store that will automatically distribute applications to devices through the management system. The app store will support developers and users who are searching for, browsing, downloading and updating mobile device applications.

The Veterans Affairs Department launched its own National Mobile Device and Services project in July with a request to industry for comments on a plan that includes a mobile device management system, hardware and a national cellphone service contract.

Teresa Takai, the Defense Department’s chief information officer, called for the adoption of both the mobile device management system and the application store in a high-level mobile device strategy a released June 15. DISA’s draft notice to industry and work statement provide more details than the strategy document.

DISA plans to support a large number of mobile terminals, starting with 25,000 in the first year of the overall enterprise contract and then add 50,000 a year to the network for an unspecified number of years, the work statement showed.

The agency said it intends to issue a request for proposals for the enterprise wireless system by Sept. 30 and wants a contractor to develop, test and provide operational support for the system, including the device management functions and the application store.

Ensuring security is a key component of the enterprise wireless plan, extending to the security of the hardware supply chain, DISA said -- a tacit acknowledgement that the most popular tablet computer, the Apple iPad, is manufactured in China.

DISA said it is concerned about “a serious, growing threat to our national security from computer hardware and software produced and developed by Foreign Ownership, Controlled or Influenced vendors being sold to or being purchased by Department of Defense organizations and installed into DoD communications systems and networks.”

The agency said it wants its enterprise wireless contractor to continuously assess potential security risks at foreign-owned companies and factories and in software code in the device hardware to mitigate security problems, including malware and the planting of “logic bombs” in hardware Defense personnel use.

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