updated 02:00 pm EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
FIPS 14-2 certification, STIG approval opening DoD doors
Apple's iPhones, iPads and other devices running iOS 6 or higher are officially cleared for use on the US government's secure networks, the Department of Defence announced on Friday. The final approval, which we first reported on in March, also grants Samsung Android devices that are running the Korean company's Knox security lockdown, as well as BlackBerry devices running BB10 the ability to be used on secure networks. The move is expected to further hurt BlackBerry, as it faces competition in the military space for the first time.
Apple reacted to the news, telling AllThingsD that the FIPS 140-2 certification and STIG approval "demonstrate our ongoing commitment to deliver a secure platform to our enterprise and government customers around the world who deploy iOS devices on their networks." The DoD will be adding around 100,000 new devices and upgrading some 650,000 obsolete BlackBerry devices to iOS once all the funds frozen under sequestration are released, opening the door to far more diversity of platforms at the formerly BlackBerry-centric Pentagon and DoD.
A breakdown of planned iOS purchases obtained by MacNN includes 210,000 iPhones; 200,000 iPod touch units; 100,000 iPad minis and 120,000 iPads, with "more than half" being deployed to battle theaters, on board active-duty vessels and associated support commands, with the rest mostly going to the Pentagon itself. The DoD currently has some 470,000 BlackBerry devices that are not compatible with the new BB10 OS and will need to be replaced.