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NIST releases mobile app vetting tool

Apr. 15, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
IFA 2011 Consumer Technology Trade Fair
NIST has released a tool to ease the management of vetting apps for agency use. (Sean Gallup / Getty Images)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is making it easier for agencies to vet mobile apps.

NIST recently released the first iteration of its free, open source tool that agencies can use to manage their app vetting workflow. The Web-based capability is called AppVet and was designed to help decision-makers approve or reject apps, based on risk assessments, according to NIST.

Here’s how AppVet works: Agencies must first submit an app for vetting. From there, AppVet registers the app and begins the pre-processing work, which can include extracting meta-data about the app and ensuring it conforms to agencies’ policies.

However, AppVet is primarily a management tool, not an analytical solution. “The power of AppVet lies in its ability to easily integrate tools to provide tailored analytic capability,” such as anti-virus scanners, according to a NIST announcement. “AppVet itself provides little analytic capability.”

AppVet sends the mobile apps and related information to agencies’ tools for testing and evaluation. Any analysis from those tools are provided to agencies in a report and risk assessment.

While AppVet can support apps from different platforms, including iOS and Windows, agencies must ensure the integrated tools are capable of analyzing them. Each installment of AppVet can support only one mobile platform at a time.

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