Mobile security and risk management solutions provider Fixmo  has announced its collaboration with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to enable secure mobile communications and access to mission-critical applications from a range of smartphones and tablets. Fixmo and the USAF will further its collaboration under a newly established Co-operative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the 688th IOW, which will focus on the development and deployment of advanced mobile security and attestation technologies to enable trusted mobile computing in the field on a wide range of mobile devices.
“We understand the mission opportunities that secure mobile technology provides our airmen and executive leaders from a productivity and efficiency standpoint,” said Bill Marion, AFSPC Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Air Force Space Command. “Industry has been a great ally, working closely with us to develop innovative new mobile technologies that enable us to deliver on our operational imperatives in a secure and compliant manner.”
The USAF is currently using the Fixmo Sentinel solution for device integrity verification and mobile device management (MDM) as part of its AFSPC-led mobile device initiative. Fixmo Sentinel helps the USAF secure their mobile devices while ensuring they start, and remain, in a known trusted state and within compliance with mobile security guidelines led by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
The USAF has also deployed the Fixmo SafeZone secure workspace and application containerization solution on iPads and iPhones in an effort to move beyond just using the smart devices for e-mail, calendar, and contacts. Fixmo SafeZone provides a managed secure container environment with CAC-enabled e-mail, secure browser, an office-like document management suite, secure camera, Microsoft SharePoint access and the ability to integrate custom applications.
“We are trying to move from a mindset of locking down the native side of the device to ensure network security, to using the secure container as the interface to the AFNET and letting the user enjoy the benefits of the native portion of the device. This allows the user to work with apps they are familiar with on their personal phones, but still provide a secure and isolated interface to the AFNET for mission related apps and apps that need to provide security for sensitive but unclassified data,” said Mike Kretzer, 688th IOW Technical Director. “We are trying to provide as much flexibility as possible with the native side settings and relying on the security of the Fixmo SafeZone container to allow safe and secure connectivity to the AFNET.”
Under the CRADA, the USAF is also evaluating Fixmo Secure Gesture as a potential alternative to smart card technology for advanced user authentication on mobile devices without the need for custom hardware or external readers. “Fixmo Secure Gesture is an exciting new technology that has the potential to revolutionize user authentication on mobile devices,” said Bruce Gilley, President of Fixmo U.S. “Not only is it more secure and tougher to crack than traditional alphanumeric passcodes, but it is also easier to use and a fraction of the cost of traditional multi-factor authentication solutions. We’re excited to work with the US Air Force to introduce this technology into the Department of Defense, and to help drive changes in security policy that could ultimately reduce costs to the taxpayer while increasing operational security.”
Through its CRADAs with the US Air Force and the US National Security Agency, Fixmo continues to invest in next-generation mobile security solutions to enable government agencies to deliver on their key operational imperatives through the power and efficiency of smartphones, tablets and mobile apps.
“We’re proud to play an important role in enabling Department of Defense agencies to leverage the latest smartphones and tablets in a way that really makes a difference in the field,” said Fixmo CEO, Rick Segal. “We’re looking forward to continuing along this path of innovation to support the nation’s missions such as Air Force Mobility Command’s (AMC) and Air Force Global Strike Command’s Electronic Flight Bag initiatives.”