The enterprise partitions of new BlackBerry and Samsung products have passed the rigorous security testing of the US Department of Defense.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on Friday said it had approved Enterprise Service (BES) 10 on BlackBerry’s Z10 and Q10 smartphones and PlayBook tablets, as well as Knox on Samsung’s just-released Galaxy S4, to run on its internal networks.
The Department had previously restricted Defence staff from using Android smartphones on internal networks due to security fears.
The Pentagon has 470,000 BlackBerry users, and 41,000 Apple and 8700 Android devices in test programs.
The DoD is currently reviewing several mobile device types and operating systems, including Apple’s iOS 6, and is expected to make an announcement on whether Apple products are sanctioned for use this month.
Knox and Enterprise Service 10 conform to the Pentagon’s Security Technology Implementation Guide, meaning devices can attain a secure connection to DoD networks without having to review at each agency level.
Apple products are expected to conform to a different security requirement, reported the Wall Street Journal, and therefore will only be able to be used for non-classified activities like web browsing.
“This is a significant step towards establishing a multivendor environment that supports a variety of state-of-the-art devices and operating systems,” Air Force Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.
The Galaxy S4 will not launch with Knox, with Samsung needing more time test the software both internally and with carrier partners.
The S4 become available in Australia in late April. BlackBerry's touch-screen Z10 arrived locally in late March, while the QWERTY Q10 is yet to launch.
The mobile device management system mirrors BES 10 in that it isolates data and applications from a user’s personal and work profiles into separate containers to protect the corporate network.