Defense-Grade Security for the Rest of Us

A High-Assurance Framework for Mobile/Wireless Device Applications

Beginning in the 1980s, the procurement policies of the U.S. Government and that of its allies and coalition partners began to shift from purchase of highly-customized (a.k.a. bespoke) technologies to acquisition of systems and solutions built from commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components.  Today, COTS software and hardware is routinely specified to meet the needs of federal, military and civilian programs.

An area of particular focus lies in requirements for secure use of COTS smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices together with the desire to meet mobile workers’ requests to accommodate use of familiar devices running Android and popular productivity and lifestyle applications – in a single device.

Requirements for High Assurance “Defense Grade” security on COTS mobile devices do not originate solely in the rarified environment of National Security.  Both government and civilian agencies, want to accommodate worker desires for a single unified communications device, but also must respond to key trends in mobile computing.

This White Paper lays out a vision for a High Assurance Framework (HAF) for building trusted computing and communications systems, using Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware and software components, including Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

It reviews the origins of requirements for High Assurance for mobile devices, describes the required components, and outlines the architecture to implement and deploy to devices using readily-available commercial software technology.

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