The U.S Department of Defense announced on Friday the fact that they officially approved Apple iOS 6 running devices to access its secure government networks. Therefore, iPhones and iPads running on Apple’s latest version of the operating system receive now clearance for using its private networks.
This approval is a part of a military plan to allow employees the flexibility to use commercial products on secure government networks. The approval came two weeks after Samsung Galaxy, and Blackberry 10 handsets were given the clearance by the military arm.
In the past, the Department of Defense used Blackberry devices for their internal affairs. Now, with the latest change, military employees are able to use the latest Apple devices, along with Samsung Knox-compatible and Blackberry handsets running on the latest version of their operating system.
Until now, Apple devices were used in some areas of the government, but the Pentagon approval will allow the Fruit Company to infiltrate in more secure areas. The U.S. military members are now able to use the latest iPhone 5, Samsung S4 and Blackberry 10.
As a spokeswoman for the Department of Defense cleared, this “It does not mean that Apple is getting a contract with us or anything like that. It just means that specific operating system, Apple iOS 6, is now approved as long as they have that particular operating system.”
As it is expected, the access to Pentagon’s secure networks requires high security standards. Since Apple now received clearance, this could mean that the Company has a clear way for lucrative contracts with the government in the future.
Blackberry is a relatively old handset provider of choice for the U.S. government. However, last year, DOD stated the fact that it was opening its exclusive contract with Blackberry to other device makers. This represented an opening line both for Apple and for Samsung.
It is worth mentioning the fact that the Department of Defense requires Smartphone manufacturers to provide software that is capable of monitoring, managing and enforcing U.S. military security requirements.
At this point, DOD has more than 600,000 commercial mobile devices in operational and pilot use, which means that the Department of Defense now uses 470,000 Blackberrys, 41,000 Apple devices and 8,700 Android devices. In order for a new device to fulfill DOD’s standards, the handset needs to receive approval from DOD Security Technical Implementation Guide, or STIG. This means that the device needs to meet the security standards required for the DOD.