The Government's Mobility Experts: The Federal Mobility Group

Published: March 04, 2021

Federal Market AnalysisMobility

The Federal Mobility Group explains achievements, challenges and the future of the federal mobile landscape.

Key Takeaways:

  • Primary roles of the Federal Mobility Group include classifying federal use cases in mobility, identifying common mobility challenges, and developing and publishing workable solutions and white papers to standardize and share best practices.
  • In 2021, the group plans deliverables centered on international guidance for mobile devices, advancing FISMA mobility metrics, and creating awareness through a mobile security ecosystem white paper.

A little over a year ago, the Federal CIO Council chartered the Federal Mobility Group  (FMG) to enable information sharing, and identify priorities and gaps in non-national security and mobility missions at agencies. The group is a combination of the previous Mobile Services Category Team (MSCT) and the Mobile Technology Tiger Team (MTTT).

At a meeting hosted by ACT-IAC last week, FMG panelist members explained that mobile technology is rapidly evolving and in demand. In order to keep the U.S. at the forefront in areas such as 5G, cyber, and the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and automation, the group works “across federal government to identify common mobility challenges, develop workable solutions and create an opportunity to share best practices.”

Panelists proceeded to explain the four strategic pillars that make up the FMG: Mobile Security, Acquisitions, 5G and Mobile Network Infrastructure, and Mission Enablement.

In terms of mobile security, Ross Foard, Senior Engineer at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) described how the mobile community fits into all security systems. With that, mobile was not originally a metric on the FISMA scorecard before FY 2018. FMG helped implement the addition of mobile metrics under FISMA, noting that devices on the network and categorization of devices fit into the identification of the metrics. On the derived PIV front, COVID-19 challenged agencies to take a virtual approach to enable people on the network. FMG help issue guidance on taking a risk management approach during the pandemic. Moving forward, the group plans to identify other authenticators on devices for agencies that are available for use.

Regarding 5G, Vincent Sritapan, Section Chief to the Cyber Quality Service Management Office at CISA explained that FMG has published white papers on how to conduct 5G testing, as well as synthesized 5G implementation policies. The group is also looking at opportunities to educate 5G to federal users, utilizing different use cases in 5G and collaborating with different carriers and OEMs to bring various perspectives on the educational series.

Moving forward, the panelists laid out several planned 2021 deliverables:

  • Advance current metrics to align with changing mobile environments within the FY 2021 & Beyond FISMA Mobility Metrics Report
  • Examine how IDC data metrics will impact decision making
  • Develop an International Travel Guidance for Mobile Devices for federal employees traveling outside the U.S.
  • Develop a Mobile Security Ecosystem White Paper to reduce mobile program risk by promoting greater awareness of mobile security best practices

Members of the FMG explained that opportunities for industry to engage with government and the FMG exist, directing industry to contact Panelists also shared that the FMG is looking to host a virtual event this spring to connect government industry and academia. Pre-Covid, one of the group’s efforts focused on connecting folks that have had a variety of businesses, OEMs, carriers etc., to come in and demo for them. Regardless, those interested in working with the FMG are encouraged to contact the group through the provided email address.