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NSA to Go Mobile, with Secure Cloud Architecture

Ben Farrell
April 26, 2011

When the National Security Agency (NSA) starts testing mobile devices, you know that the technology is more than just a passing fad. According to a recent NextGov story, NSA is reviewing a new mobile infrastructure to secure Top Secret information on devices like smartphones and tablet computers. Debora Plunkett, director of the NSA Information Assurance Directorate, says mobility is just one of about 10 "opportunities" targeted for next year.

It's an important step in the federal government's continued push for information accessed anywhere. Beyond mobile devices, the IT architecture of the future, she told NextGov, will be cloud computing and virtualization. The article also cites U.S. Cyber Command chief Gen. Keith Alexander's testimony before a House subcommittee. Cloud computing will support and enhance military networks, Alexander said.

"ÖWe are convinced the controls and tools that will be built into the cloud will ensure that people cannot see any data beyond what they need for their jobs and will be swiftly identified if they make unauthorized attempts to access data," Alexander maintained.

Cloud computing may reduce security risks by moving information away from desktops to a centralized arrangement, for tighter control and more rapid response to cyber incidents, the article noted.

The message to the rest of federal agencies should be clear: Mobile devices and cloud computing are here to stay. The same benefits that make the technology compelling for security-focused organizations make it even more compelling for agencies focused on improving customer interaction and efficiency in business processes.

Centralized information means better collaboration within and among agencies ñ and access to that information from smart mobile devices means every stakeholder has a voice in the process, no matter where he or she may be.

If the NSA believes in the future of mobile and cloud computing, isn't it time your agency took a hard look at the technology, too? Read about the Appian BPM Suite for more information how to put your agency's business processes in the cloud and on a smartphone.

Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications