DISA closing in on mobile public key access

The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to up its offerings in mobility for defense agencies in 2016, particularly in letting personnel access what they could from their desk while they're on-the-go with mobile public key infrastructure​s.
Hitachi Data Systems' Jason Hardy hosts a panel on mobility featuring (from left) FEMA CTO Ted Okada; Treasury CIO Sonny Bhagowalia; Greg Youst, chief mobility engineer at DISA; and Jon Johnson, enterprise mobility program manager for GSA at the Hitachi Data Systems Social Innovation Summit. (FedScoop)

The Defense Information Systems Agency is working to set up public key infrastructures that would give defense agency staff an easier way to access mission-critical systems in the field.

With a PKI in place, users can exchange information over networks securely using encryption keys. As it stands, defense staff are handcuffed by their common access cards, which they need to access many crucial systems.

“I cannot access a darn thing without my CAC card. I can’t get to my time sheet, I can’t get to my email, I can’t even get on the network unless I have a card,” Greg Youst, the agency’s chief mobility engineer, said at Thursday’s Hitachi Data Systems Social Innovation Summit, presented by FedScoop.

Youst said improving mobile enterprise access in defense agencies will be a top priority for him in 2016, starting first with Apple iOS devices before moving to Android, Windows and BlackBerry.


“That’s going to be the enterprise capability where the user will now be able to access everything he does with his laptop” on a mobile device, he said.

Youst and his team also have a other mobile projects in the works.

Later this year, he said DISA plans to release a new request for proposals for a mobile “single service manager.” That will be “a soup-to-nuts type contract for us to do mobility across the board, from provisioning to telecom expense management to content management and mobile device management,” Youst said.

DISA is also working to upgrade its classified mobility to keep up with the needs of the National Security Agency and its Commercial Solutions for Classified Program, he said.

Ultimately, Youst said, its his team’s job to make sure agencies are equipped with the mobile solutions to be successful in their missions.


“I don’t tell them how to do their job,” he said. “I give them the tools to do it.”

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