Pentagon Approves Use of Samsung Android and New BlackBerry Devices

The Samsung Galaxy Note II runs Knox.

The Samsung Galaxy Note II runs Knox. Jason DeCrow/AP

Apple devices still awaiting the Defense nod.

The Defense Department has approved the Android Knox smartphone made by Samsung and new BlackBerry smartphones and tablets running Enterprise Service 10 software for use on its networks.

The Pentagon did not approve the use of Apple smartphones or tables yet, which numerous media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, speculated  would happen this week.

Pentagon spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Damien Pickart said the approvals represent “a significant step towards establishing a multi-vendor environment that supports a variety of state-of-the-art devices and operating systems.”

He said several other devices are undergoing the department’s Security Technical Implementation Guides approval process. It establishes a configuration that allows a secure connection to Defense networks by eliminating the need for security reviews at the individual organization level.

Pickart said the level of security necessary departmentwide does not rest solely on any one mobile device. The network and software also must be secured and managed appropriately.

An integral part of the secure mobility framework will be the Mobility Device Management and Mobile Application Store contract kicked off last October, which is in source selection now and anticipated for award in early summer.

The Pentagon released a mobile device plan in February in which it said it expected to have 100,000 unclassified users online by the second quarter of fiscal 2014 and eventually 600,000 users.