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The DoDIN APL Certification: A Labor of Love

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As the Department of Defense (DoD) and other US federal agencies seek to better protect themselves from pervasive and growing cyber threats, how can they maintain a security-oriented mindset when sourcing commercial off the shelf (COTS) products from outside vendors for use on sensitive networks?

The answer: take advantage of a rigorous product testing, validation, certification, and selection process already in place. In order to be listed on the Department of Defense Information Network Approved Products List (DoDIN APL), vendors must architect products that meet the highest security and interoperability specifications. In selecting COTS products from the DoDIN APL, decisionmakers and network administrators across DoD ensure the products they use have been specifically designed with security as a top priority – all without sacrificing operability.

In contrast, other approval processes and lists – like Navy DADMS, Army CON, Air Force guidance, and authority to operate (ATO) designations – tend to select products based on functionality and utility. Vendors are not required to make security-enhancing adjustments to their products in order to be included; instead, their products are tested as is. As a result, reliance on these determinations undermines the intention and effectiveness of the DoDIN APL, as well as the overall cyber safety of DoD and our nation.

Earlier this month, two members of our team, Acronis SCS’ Vice President of Engineering and R&D Neil Proctor and Vice President of Sales John Downey hosted a webinar to explore the high security standards required by the DoDIN APL from the perspective of a company undergoing the certification process.

Viewers that tuned in learned the ins and outs of this labor of love – and why selecting COTS products from the DoDIN APL is of utmost importance for enabling the mission and securing DoD systems and networks. For those unable to attend (or those seeking a refresher), the full webinar recording, including helpful Q&A, is now available on our website. Take a watch or flip through the slides to learn more!