DoD Mobile Technologies

Published, January 10, 2017

Mobile technologies are integral to the Department of Defense (DoD) future information technology (IT) environment, in which data is more quickly transformed into actionable information. DoD has embraced a range of commercial mobile solutions for its users, and deploys the most recent generation of mobile devices from all of the major vendors.

In addition, DoD pursues a multi-vendor acquisition strategy - in fact, Apple mobile devices outnumber BlackBerry devices within the DoD inventory. The Department's mobile ecosystem offers many competitive alternatives, and there is an obligation for DoD to purchase mobile systems at the best value, regardless of the vendor.

Mobile security is the most significant challenge. New threats, like zero-day exploits, and supply chain security remain a concern. Mobile devices have yet to achieve native security features that are important to the DoD enterprise.

DoD continues making progress on implementing advanced security features. "CAC-less" authentication is now in use. This works by installing derived credentials onto the mobile device, allowing users to access their device using their certificates without a physical gadget connecting their CAC. DIUx is also reviewing possible multifactor authentication alternatives.

The Department is also exploring options to integrate some version of "bring your own device" (BYOD) for its workforce. DoD has conducted several BYOD pilots, learning several valuable lessons. A new BYOD pilot is scheduled for spring 2017, which should help bring DoD closer to a more flexible user environment for mobile technologies.

Mobile systems are becoming pervasive - from wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT), tablets, and beyond - and are integral to the secure, efficient, effective DoD IT environment. DoD has and continues to work with industry to enable trusted information sharing and accessible, intelligent data access.