Securing smartphones for the war zone

Thursday - 7/28/2011, 6:05pm EDT

John Herrema, senior vice president, corporate strategy, Good Technology

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By Vyomika Jairam
Federal News Radio

A smart phone is worthless if it's not secure, especially if you're taking that device into combat. The Defense Information Systems Agency and the military branches are testing iPhones and Droids for security in the most difficult environments.

John Herrema is Senior Vice President of corporate strategy at Good Technology, the company working with DISA on the project. He joined In Depth to talk about securing mobile devices

There are many factors in using mobile phones, Herrema said, from the networks, individual devices, platforms, applications used on devices. Also, the devices will be used on public and private networks and are much more likely to be misplaced, lost or stolen.

Another critical concern is in verifying the source of emails.

"You simply can't have a case where a bad guy, can find a device, acquire a device or otherwise impersonate a legitimate officer or soldier," Herrema said.

Security isn't just a concern in the defense sector, Herrema said.

"I think we're starting to see our commercial customers embrace technologies that previously was really used only by our DoD or federal customers," Herrema

On the opposite side, federal customers are becoming more open to and adopting the "Bring Your Own Device" model. This way, organizations increase mobility and reduce costs by leveraging devices that employees already own. And everybody wins, Herrema said, because employees get to use the devices they want.

"We are finding that we do have government customers that are already embracing this 'BYOD' model," Herrema said.