As previously suggested by the Wall Street Journal, iOS 6 has received a green light for governmental use, as the iOS CryptoCore Kernel Module 3.0 was found to be up to the security requirements of the US government (via iMore).
The approval comes from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which has been approving hardware and software that meet the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) since 1995. May 3 was a big day for Apple, because iOS 6 has finally received the FIPS 140-2 certification.
This represents a huge step for Apple, but bad news for the struggling BlackBerry, which held a strong grip on the lucrative governmental market. As the Pentagon has already announced, it will open its network for both iOS and Android devices, so as of today iPads and iPhones can be used in federal agency applications and security-aware private enterprise.
The FIPS 140-2 certification doesn’t mean that iDevices are approved for military use, as the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has to confirm that iOS 6 is up to their own standards.
DISA has already produced a Security Technical Implementation Guide for Apple’s iOS 6 software on the iPhone 4 and 5. That shows that it would block access to the iTunes App Store, the iMessage messaging app and to the Safari browser on the device because – by defence standards – they pose a security risk. For web browsing, a third-party browser will be used and data will be routed through a Pentagon server.
With iOS 6 receiving this important security certification just days after Samsung’s Knox software, Apple is off to great start — and heavy competition — in this market that has previously been dominated by BlackBerry.