Blue Cedar Secures Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Contract From the Air Force

John Aisien | Aug 10, 2020

Blue Cedar Secures Small Business Innovation Research Phase II Contract from the US Air Force

Blue Cedar has secured a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract worth $1.5m from the US Air Force (USAF), to facilitate security and efficiency improvements in the process by which the USAF deploys apps for mobile devices that manifest sensitive data, supporting its mission as the world’s preeminent force in air, space and cyberspace.

Awarded as part of the USAF’s AFWERX program, this contract will fund key features and capabilities in Blue Cedar’s cloud platform, which streamlines post-development activities required to deploy mobile apps. By delivering enhancements like integration with BESPIN mobile CICD, Blue Cedar is enabling the war fighter to obtain the mobile apps they need when they need them, with minimal development or operational delays. This award continues to build on the positive results from the USAF’s partnership with Blue Cedar, established via a SBIR Phase I feasibility study, which was completed in November 2019.

The USAF is aggressively adopting modern software development techniques in order to modernize all elements of its operations. In addition, demand for mobile apps that provide the war fighter with convenient access to high-value data and business processes is also increasing. Numerous DevOps teams, using different tools, systems and people, must collaborate to perform the necessary tasks that are prerequisites for deploying sensitive, high-value mobile apps. Each mobile app must meet the USAF’s rigorous security, compliance and operational requirements. The USAF is partnering with Blue Cedar to provide a platform for the consistent definition and the repeatable execution of such deployment processes for all mobile apps.

The Blue Cedar platform orchestrates the tools, systems, and human tasks necessary for the secure deployment of mobile apps to end users like the war fighter. Some examples of such deployment tasks include:

● Securely intaking developed mobile apps from code repositories & other DevOps toolchains

● Validating the security of these developed apps via app binary security scanning tools

● Integration of app management, security and other SDKs into mobile apps, without the need to write any code

● Mobile app code hardening

● Manual or automated app signing

● User acceptance testing

● Integration with on-device app distribution solutions

These tasks are building blocks for the critical deployment workflow processes that need to be completed for mobile apps in a security-sensitive environment like the USAF.

This SBIR Phase II award will enable Blue Cedar to:

● Extend the platform’s secure app intake service via support for automated import of mobile app binaries from BESPIN code repositories

● Validate the efficacy of workflow orchestration by the platform against critical mobile apps such as those that support derived credentials on unmanaged devices

● Enable the platform to be consumed by USAF DevOps, mobile engineering and IT operations personnel, consistent with the agency’s security assessment, authorization & monitoring compliance requirements

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