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Secret Service Explores a Unified System to Manage Smartphones, Tablets

Secret Service agents Members of the Secret Service surround Air Force One as President Barack Obama prepares to depart the plane in September.

Secret Service agents Members of the Secret Service surround Air Force One as President Barack Obama prepares to depart the plane in September. // Chris Schneider/AP

The Secret Service is considering adopting a mobile device management system and apps store to better handle employee smartphones and tablets running a variety of operating systems, including BlackBerry, Android, iOS and Windows 8, according to a request for information agency officials posted Thursday.

The system would serve as a “traffic cop” to ensure employees are following configuration policies across the agency’s networks on all smartphones and tablets. The Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting national leaders and safeguarding financial institutions, operates globally.

“A unified [mobile device management/mobile applications store] architecture will secure, monitor, manage and support accredited mobile devices across a range of [agency] environments,” the request notes. Such a system would help detect malware and allow system administrators to remotely wipe devices as well as update software.

Interested vendors must be able to support at least 12,000 devices, with the capability to support more as necessary. Any system also must be able to integrate with the Microsoft Active Directory system for authentication as well as the MS Exchange environment for messaging.

The Secret Service RFI was released just prior to the General Services Administration's announcement of a new program to streamline mobile device management services for agencies. Nine vendors are involved in that endeavor. It's not yet clear if any of those providers would fully meet the agency's requirements. 

Companies have until June 29 to respond.

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