The iPhone and iPad have already been cleared for use by a number of US government agencies, and in February the US Defense Department confirmed plans to open its networks to 100,000 new devices from Apple and Google by February of next year. Today, The Wall Street Journal reports the DoD is about to grant two more important security approvals that could increase the number of agencies allowed to deploy iPhone, iPads, and Samsung Galaxy devices:
The Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, the agency that sanctions commercial technology for Pentagon use, is set to rule that Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones, preloaded with Samsung’s Knox security software, conforms with the Pentagon’s so-called Security Technology Implementation Guide, according to people familiar with the approval process. That would allow it to be used by some Pentagon agencies for things like sending and receiving internal emails, according to these people.
Separately, DISA is expected to rule that Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 6, conforms to a different security-requirement guide, these people said. That would allow iPhones and iPads to be used by military agencies for nonclassified communications, like email and Web browsing.
The report from WSJ explained Samsung has been steadily increasing its attempt to break into corporate and government markets by hiring a new team of security experts and former RIM employees to reach out to Western governments and corporations:
Last month in London, Samsung hosted the first meeting of a new government-advisory board, made up of Samsung executives and technology-security experts from Western government agencies, including the U.S. National Security Agency. The NSA sometimes participates in such industry groups, focused on shaping new products for government agencies.
During the two-day meeting, which included a dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant, the head of Samsung’s new enterprise unit, BC Cho, said it was “a little bit embarrassing” that the company’s smartphones weren’t being used by government agencies, considering how many consumer phones the company was shipping, according to meeting notes reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
One of Samsung’s plans to attract more government and corporate customers that was discussed at the two-day meeting was a water and dust proof variant of its flagship S4 dubbed the Galaxy S4 Active, as previously reported by the WSJ.
The report adds that RIM says its close to getting clearance and necessary approvals from government for its latest BlackBerry 10 OS.
As of February, BlackBerry made up the majority of the 600,000 devices used by the Department of Defense. The Pentagon said its networks now have about 470,000 BlackBerrys, 41,000 Apple products, and 8,700 Android devices.