updated 04:16 pm EDT, Wed May 1, 2013
Platforms getting separate approval
The US Department of Defense should grant two separate security approvals to iOS 6 devices and Samsung Galaxy phones in the coming weeks, according to sources for the Wall Street Journal. Apple's iOS 6 is expected to be vetted as safe for non-classified data uses, namely email and web browsing. Galaxy phones, meanwhile, will allegedly be judged as conforming to the DoD's Security's Technology Implementation Guide, allowing use by some military agencies for sending and receiving internal email.
The separate approval processes are necessary because as a locked-down, proprietary platform, iOS is seen as more secure. Android by contrast is a more "open" OS modified by many different phone makers, which may make it riskier. Samsung Galaxy phones are, however, preloaded with the company's Knox security software.
Getting the new security clearance should pave the way for the DoD to adopt Galaxy and iOS devices at more agencies. Electronista recently reported that the DoD is planning to acquire some 650,000 iOS devices, including iPod touches -- but that it was waiting for security testing, as well as the end of the sequestration currently crippling government budgets. That could cause problems, because iOS 7 is predicted to arrive in September or October, at which point more testing may be needed.
BlackBerry has long been a mainstay of DoD agencies because of the tight security protocols the company uses. BlackBerry 10 devices are currently undergoing testing, though, because of the radical upgrades in their operating system. The company says it is working with the DoD to get approval as soon as possible.