The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is expanding its Mobile App Vetting (MAV) beta service that allows the agency to help combat the use of “bad applications” that can expose cybersecurity flaws for agencies.

The app is aimed at lowering the number of vulnerabilities that could threaten Federal Civilian Executive Branch (FCEB) agencies with malware or data exposures.

“CISA is proud to expand access to the Mobile App Vetting (MAV) service. CISA granted MAV an Authorization to Operate – acknowledging the service’s key role in combating a growing risk of mobile app vulnerabilities,” the agency said.

One of the biggest users and early adopters of the MAV service has been the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) component. Using the service has allowed the agency to “vet its library of mobile apps for security concerns before deployment on the component’s pool of smartphones and tablets,” CISA said.

By using the MAV service, CBP has been able to locate “poor coding” that slows the efficiency of the agency, as well as finding issues in an iOS version of COVID-19 contact tracing software used by the agency.

“This discovery prompted CBP to cancel the app’s deployment, which consequently protected the security and integrity its mobile devices,” CISA said.

The agency added that the service is being provided free of charge to Federal agencies.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.