March 16, 2016 | Written by: Bill Timme
Categorized: Defence & Intelligence
Apps on smartphones and tablets have become so woven into the fabric of our daily lives that the phrase “There’s an App for that!” is no longer a wry amusement but almost universally true in our personal use. Apps can be found designed for a vast array of services, anything from making a reservation at a restaurant to navigating to that address is easily found on almost any personal device. Defense organizations worldwide are trying to leverage the same usefulness of mobile access to information and processes, but are moving more slowly because of security concerns and the scale and complexity of their organizations. I would like to highlight that for defense Apps can be grouped into categories of how they are integrated into an organization. I will give a few examples:
- Generally available apps that could be put in any App Store that defense and non-defense individuals could download and use, but would be maintained by a defense organization.
Recruiting station locations and recruit entry criteria such as physical readiness tests
Military public events (air shows, base open houses, Iwo Jima Performances)
Recruiting office locations, standards, sample tests, physical requirements, “Contact a Recruiter”, etc.
- Unclassified but controlled personnel access apps. A Defense App Store would control distribution to defense personnel and control access through identification management.
Example Apps include:
Access to individual pay records and career information
Personnel forms such as Leave/Holiday, other business processes
- Unclassified but operational. Connections to systems associated with your current job. These must have administrator approval and your specific job gives certain access rights.
Example Apps include:
Military Police submitting incident reports
Field worker performing maintenance on DoD facilities and performing updates
Warehouse stocking and order fulfillment
Mobile ERP system access
- Classified operational. Connections to systems associated with your current job. When the device has data from these type of connections/apps then the device has classified information on it and you need to identify what security and anti-tampering protocols are required.
Field operational intelligence, maps, tactical information
Tactical unit operational reports, etc.
As you can see by these different categories it is not just sufficient to have defense approved Apps or even a Defense App Store. The structure needs to be well laid out with identity management and embedded in business processes to make the most use of mobile technologies. There is no organization which operates in more challenging circumstances, and to be most efficient personnel need to be able to conduct defense business “anywhere, anytime”.