Feature Article

February 13, 2013

U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command Extends Contract to Create Highly Secure, Off-the-Shelf Mobile Devices

Military personnel depend on secure communications to ensure their safety and that of the operations they carry out. With so many communications devices available in the market, the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command has extended a contract to ViaSat, Inc. (VSAT) for the continuation of creating an advanced information security system with off-the-shelf mobile devices.

This type of flexibility gives the Marines the ability to use these devices with the assurance that what they communicate to each other will be protected from the enemy.

The project is expected to be finished by the spring of 2013, and by the end of the summer a secure mobile system will be available on Android devices. The benefit of using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) communication devices is that anything can happen in the theater of war.

Increasingly, military conflicts are taking place in urban environments where there are 3G, 4G, LTE cellular and Wi-Fi networks readily available. Adding the ViaSat cyber and information security to commercially available products allows military personnel to communicate over these networks.

Once the device is fitted with the right application from VSAT, it can protect it from malware attacks and store sensitive information.

The company is primarily designing this tool for the armed forces, but it can be used for any other government or commercial user who requires the same type of security in their communications systems.

This type of protection becomes increasingly important as mobile devices become not only a communications tool, but a computing device storing a breadth of sensitive information. As mobile devices are used to make mobile payments and come with near field communications (NFC) capabilities, more and more sensitive information is being stored in them.

The VSAT platform works behind the scenes with a firmware that enables individuals to use their mobile device just like anyone else, except you have the protection of a company trusted by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide secure communications for them.

If the phone is lost or stolen, an automated cyber defense protocol is implemented where IT managers can take the appropriate action to ensure the data on a device is safe.

Edited by Braden Becker

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