Homeland Security Wants Government To Get Better at Mobile Security


A new document includes insights for chief information officers, business owners and developers.

The Homeland Security Department has released two years’ worth of lessons learned and best practices, in hopes of improving how other agencies manage their mobile options.

Published this week, the 39-page Mobile Application Playbook includes insights for chief information officers, business owners and developers, and has been integral in developing two dozen applications within the agency, according to Rob Palmer, deputy chief technology officer at DHS.

“The intent internally within DHS is that we want people to be able to use it, and it’s merely a collection of our thoughts and lessons learned, and if it helps people, then that’s perfect,” Palmer said in an interview Wednesday with Nextgov. “If somebody is looking at doing this and is 60 percent along the way, and this gets them an extra 20 or 30 percent, that’s exactly why we want to share it.”

Palmer said DHS intends for the framework to be a “living, dynamic document” that continues to evolve as technologies and innovative approaches to mobility do.

Internally, it is meant to to ensure applications make it through the agency’s "CarWash" process, which tests and vets apps before they’re used across the agency.

Most of the content was gleaned internally from DHS components, but sprinkled in are cross-agency ideas through entities like the Mobile Technology Tiger Team and industry and academic partners, like the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center, which is currently hosting playbook.