Apple garners DISA approval for its mobile operating system

DISA approves STIG for government-issued Apple iOS 6 mobile devices

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) today announced approval of the Apple iOS 6 Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG), which means that government-issued iOS6 mobile devices are approved for use when connecting to DOD networks within current mobility pilots or the future mobile device management (MDM) framework.

This STIG comes shortly after DISA approved STIGs for the BlackBerry and Samsung Knox operating systems.

The DOD mobility strategy includes mobile devices configured to the STIG, in combination with an actively managed and defended MDM system. The MDM provides a process for managing and distributing mobile applications and an enhanced cyber defense infrastructure.

"All of these pieces must be in place to allow the secure use of commercial mobile devices on department networks," said Mark Orndorff, DISA information assurance executive & program executive officer for mission assurance and network ops, in a DISA press statement. "DISA is running a pilot program today where we bring this all together."

DISA calls the release of the Apple iOS 6 STIG a “major stride” in building a multi-vendor environment, supporting a diverse selection of devices and operating systems.

The STIG does not allow personally acquired mobile devices to connect to DOD networks.

A key objective of DISA’s Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan is to establish a department-wide mobile enterprise solution that permits the use of the latest commercial technology such as smart phones and tablets, and the development of an enterprise mobile device management capability and application store to support approximately 100,000 multivendor devices by February 2014. DoD currently has more than 600,000 commercial mobile devices in operational and pilot use, including approximately 470,000 Blackberries, 41,000 on the Apple OS and 8,700 Android systems.

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