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Federal | Agencies | Legislative

Nuclear Regulatory Commission tabs Leidos for a spot on GLINDA BPA

Heise

RESTON, VA July 12, 2017 Leidos (NYSE: LDOS), a FORTUNE 500® science and technology company, was awarded one of six GSA Federal Supply Schedule Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs)  by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to compete for BPA calls to provide information technology (IT) support under the GLobal INfrastructure and Development Acquisition (GLINDA) Enterprise Services program.  The BPA has a base period of performance from date of award through September 29, 2019 plus three one-year options, and a maximum potential value of $679 million for all awardees if all options are exercised.    Work under resultant BPA calls will be performed primarily at NRC Headquarters in Rockville, Md. and will also support each of NRC's Regional Offices in King of Prussia, Pa, Atlanta, Ga., Lisle, Ill.,  Arlington, Texas., and a Technical Training Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The scope of the BPA includes mobility support services, end-user computing services, network support services, data center and cloud services, and application operations and maintenance support.  For BPA calls that it wins, Leidos will leverage alternatives to existing services and approaches for efficiency improvements, and offer a full complement of IT services to support the NRC's goals and objectives.  The work will contribute to the modernization and rebalancing of the NRC's information management and IT functions to provide greater product innovation to the workforce.

"The Leidos team understands the NRC's mission as well as their IT strategy," said Leidos Civil President Angie Heise. "We look forward to providing the domain expertise and innovation required to propel them on their IT services transformation journey."

About Leidos

Leidos is a FORTUNE 500® science and technology solutions and services leader working to solve the world's toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets.  The company's 32,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $7.04 billion for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2016.  For more information, visit www.Leidos.com.  

MacArthur Foundation awards nuclear security grant to Hudson Institute

Weinstein

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2017 Hudson Institute has been awarded a $500,000 grant by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to expand bipartisan political consensus on how to prevent terrorists from obtaining existing nuclear weapons, materials, or technologies. The project will be led by Dr. Richard Weitz, Director of Hudson Institute's Center for Political-Military Analysis.

"Concrete leadership on nuclear security benefits everyone," said Kenneth Weinstein, President and CEO of Hudson Institute. "Richard Weitz has worked at the forefront of cooperative threat reduction for many years, and we are proud to partner with MacArthur as they pursue new approaches to global nuclear security."

The grant will focus on preventing, deterring and responding to malign sub-state actors attempting to obtain an existing nuclear weapon or make an improvised nuclear explosive device through stolen, bought, or diverted highly enriched uranium and separated plutonium. Through media engagements, policy briefs, and public and private events, the project will focus on reducing U.S. partisan divisions surrounding the issue of nuclear security and prepare the next generation of nuclear security experts. The grant is part of a larger $4.4. million initiative led by the MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York to reduce nuclear risk and reinforce the goals established by the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Richard Weitz is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis. His current research includes regional security developments relating to Europe, Eurasia, and East Asia as well as U.S. foreign and defense policies. In recent years, Dr. Weitz has authored or edited several books and monographs, including Promoting U.S.-Indian Defense Cooperation (2017); Enhancing the Georgia-US Security Partnership (2016); Parsing Chinese-Russian Military Exercises (2015); Reforming U.S. Export Controls Reforms (2015); Turkey's New Regional Security Role: Implications for the United States (2014); Rebuilding American Military Power in the Pacific (2013); Global Security Watch—China (2013); War and Governance: International Security in a Changing World Order (2011); Global Security Watch—Russia (2009); Mismanaging Mayhem: How Washington Responds to Crisis (2008); Revitalising U.S.–Russian Security Cooperation: Practical Measures (2005); and two volumes of National Security Case Studies (Project on National Security Reform, 2012 and 2008). Dr. Weitz is a graduate of Harvard University, Oxford University, the London School of Economics, and Harvard College.

Hudson Institute is a research organization promoting American leadership and global engagement for a secure, free, and prosperous future. http://www.hudson.org

NetApp, Flair Systems partner to help Polaris Alpha deliver for government agencies

Coker

SUNNYVALE, CA July 11, 2017 “Our systems are used to help analysts and operators visualize and share massive amounts of data to support critical decision-making for U.S. national security across air, sea, ground, cyber, and space operations globally,” said David Coker, senior VP of information systems at Polaris Alpha. “With NetApp, we have significantly accelerated the development of new offerings and have changed our relationship with our internal customers; they now see us as part of their team.”

Polaris Alpha provides custom software solutions that allow government agencies such as the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security to quickly evaluate potential threats and make smarter decisions. Polaris Alpha’s business and reputation depend on its ability to consistently deliver solutions on time and within budget. Behind the scenes, more than 400 software developers provide continual support and services for customers’ unique deployments.

The company had to modernize every aspect of IT when they decided to adopt a multimodal approach that applied DevOps and agile methodologies to their oldest legacy systems. As they transitioned from monolithic applications to cloud-native containerized technologies, they faced a 10% monthly growth in storage requirements, which increased latency and hampered developer productivity.

Polaris Alpha turned to Flair Data Systems, a NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) partner, to help develop a responsive, reliable support approach for customers’ mission-critical operations.  This included moving Polaris Alpha’s virtualized production and development systems to FlexPod® Datacenter converged infrastructure, which uses NetApp® All Flash FAS, the world’s fastest and most cloud connected all flash arrays. 

The ability to easily integrate FlexPod with existing VMware solutions simplified provisioning, and accelerated container deployments, including Docker and Jenkins, from six weeks to just 15 minutes.  With faster provisioning and submillisecond latency, Polaris Alpha can now support its 400 developers with access to additional resources. The system can now handle more than 100 concurrent builds with no impact on performance. Developers can now test and deliver solutions and microservices to customers more quickly and more reliably.  The company also benefits from the FlexPod compact footprint, which takes up 75% less data center space than the previous solution.

More information:

About NetApp 
NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. We provide a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with our partners, we empower global organizations to unleash the full potential of their data to expand customer touchpoints, foster greater innovation, and optimize their operations. For more information, visit www.netapp.com. #DataDriven

CBP unveils new mobile application for aspiring agents and officers

WASHINGTON July 10, 2017 U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today the launch of CBP Jobs, a new mobile app for prospective agents and officers to track their progress through the hiring process. CBP Jobs offers frontline applicants updates about the status of their application and provides important notifications about upcoming appointments and next steps.

“CBP is focused on improving our recruiting and hiring processes, and we heard from prospective applicants that they would like regular communication during the application process,” said Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “With CBP Jobs, prospective employees will now have their hiring information at their fingertips and will stay connected with CBP through the entire process.”

The CBP Jobs mobile app enables CBP Officer, Border Patrol Agent, Air Interdiction Agent, Marine Interdiction Agent, and Agricultural Specialist applicants who have already received a temporary job offer to view their status in the hiring process by downloading the free app on an Apple or Android device. Future versions of the CBP Jobs app will enable applicants to self-schedule interviews, fitness tests, and other requirements to help speed up the application process.

“This new mobile app gives a reliable and convenient way for prospective applicants to stay informed and up-to-date on their hiring status,” said Linda Jacksta, Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of Human Resources Management. “Leveraging advancements in technology has the potential to be a game changer for CBP as we continue to transform our hiring processes.”

Beginning in 2015, CBP reengineered its entire pre-employment process by implementing more than 40 process improvements that collectively transformed its frontline staffing capability. As part of this effort, CBP developed a new expedited hiring process that significantly reduced the time-to-hire for qualified applicants. Based on a hiring hub model, the new process allows CBP to identify and remove unqualified applicants more quickly and prevent bottlenecks in later phases of the process. The CBP Jobs app is the latest initiative designed to further improve a prospective applicant’s experience within CBP.

For more information about careers at CBP, visit www.cbp.gov/careers.

Internet Promise Group provides critical security encryption for military and government applications

TORRANCE, CA July 7, 2017 Internet Promise Group, Inc. (IPG), a leading provider of security software, secure data storage and cyber security systems has introduced Random Dance Keys (RDK), a new class of scalable encryption keys so virulent and ephemeral they are impervious to brute force attacks.

Unlike current data security methods that focus on creating more advanced encryption algorithms, RDK provides breakthrough innovation in the encryption key space itself that until now was the standard key size of such as 256 random sequences of bits.

RDK encryption keys are engineered not only to be unbreakable by brute force methods, but impossible to steal or hack by focusing on the innovation in the encryption key itself rather than the encryption algorithm. They are generated randomly for every data block within in a secure communication channel, are unique per data packet or time slice, per direction and based on six layers of random separation for in-depth defense.

In addition, this next-generation of a sequence of encryption keys are:

  • Created instantly when needed for encrypting or decrypting a dataset using an algorithm
  • Never stored anywhere and are instantly discarded
  • Engineered to protect data without disruption to existing encryption systems to ensure ease and usability within current systems
  • Designed to provide seamless integration with current systems, protocols, or environments using wireless nationwide networks and combination of wireless and landline networks

"Generated at the time of actual use for encryption or decryption and immediately discarded after one time use to ensure data communications security, RDK nullify threats by eliminating the value of stolen or leaked data," said Tara Chand, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Internet Promise Group.

How do they work? RDK creates and uses a random wave envelope that generates a perpetual sequence of uniquely random encryption keys at both ends of any communications channel. The advanced key management solution of RDK uses existing encryption algorithms and an existing encryption key as a seed, without displacing current methods. RDK are easy to use, scalable and are deployable within a few days.

RDK offers multiple applications and solutions to eliminate privacy and end-to-end security issues for communications across computers including wireless networks, cloud storage services, other external storage systems, business networks and financial institutions. RDK also provides advanced solutions for critical security network communications and data storage by military, defense and government agencies.

For military use RDK can provide shared encryption keys among U.S. forces and its allies collaborating in military operations in the Middle East and other war zones around the globe. Patented RDK technology may be licensed for commercial, military and government hardware, firmware and software applications. For information please call (310) 787-1400 or visit www.internetpromisegroup.com.

# # #

About Internet Promise Group

Founded in 2014, Internet Promise Group, Inc. (IPG) develops and markets a wide range of mobile, security and information systems applications. IPG has invested $5 million in research and development to engineer products and services that secure transactions, authenticate identity, increase safety and save lives. IPG and its wholly-owned subsidiaries hold 50 patents and more than 100 patents pending for advanced technology solutions for consumers, business and government.

Federal Aviation Administration anticipates filling up to 1,400 air traffic control jobs

WASHINGTON July 6 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will be accepting applications from candidates for entry-level air traffic controller positions starting tomorrow, from July 7-14, 2017.

The job vacancy announcement for the highly competitive position of Air Traffic Control Specialist (Trainee) will be available on the federal government’s official job site, USAJOBS.gov. This announcement is expected to be open for seven days, and the agency is projecting to fill 1,400 positions. If you are interested in applying, log on to USAJOBS and apply prior to the closing date of the vacancy announcement. All applicants must meet minimum qualifications and other eligibility requirements.

Applicants will be separated into two pools of candidates. Pool 1 will include graduates of an institution participating in the Collegiate Training Initiative program who provide an appropriate recommendation, as well as eligible veterans. Individuals who qualify for Pool 1 are not required to take a biographical assessment. Pool 2 includes the general public.

Air Traffic Control Specialists are responsible for the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of air traffic through the nation's airspace. Trainees spend their first several months of employment in an intensive training program at the FAA Academy located in Oklahoma City, OK, and continue their training once they are placed at a facility.Developmental controllers receive a wide range of training in controlling and separating live air traffic within designated airspace at and around an air traffic control tower or radar approach control facility, or an air route traffic control center. 

Learn more about the air traffic controller profession, as well as an overview of the day-to-day work, on our aviation careers page. 

Former acting CBP director named to Converus Advisory Board

Ahern

LEHI, UT June 29, 2017 Jayson Ahern, an expert in homeland and border security management, is the newest member of the Converus Advisory Board. As a 33-year law enforcement professional and the former acting head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Department of Homeland Security, Ahern was responsible for securing, managing and controlling our nation's borders.

"Converus has done a remarkable job of creating technology that can help the U.S. government meet today's difficult challenges in keeping our homeland secure and safe from internal and external threats," said Ahern. "EyeDetect would be a powerful, effective tool that will streamline the vetting process for U.S. federal agencies. It's one of the most impressive credibility assessment tools I've ever seen."

Ahern is currently a principal and head of security services at The Chertoff Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global advisory firm focused on security and risk management. He advises clients on a broad range of issues, including homeland and border security management, global commerce and supply chain security, critical infrastructure protection, and strategic planning and implementation. 

"There are significant vetting-related challenges within the federal government that EyeDetect can address immediately. Some agencies are backlogged for months due to existing vetting processes while other agencies are foregoing periodic monitoring due to cost and insufficient vetting resources. For example, agencies like CBP and ICE are looking to hire 5,000 to 10,000 additional agents," said Converus President and CEO Todd Mickelsen. "EyeDetect is the only credibility assessment technology that can help the federal government quickly, accurately and cost-effectively vet a large group of people."

Mickelsen says EyeDetect — the only lie detection technology that accurately detects deception in 30 minutes by analyzing eye and other behaviors — is ideal for screening immigrants and refugees, as well as federal government employees and contractors, because the automated test is unbiased, accurate and nonintrusive.

Ahern joins existing Converus Advisory Board members and credibility assessment experts Don Krapohl, Charles Honts, Ph.D. and Darryl Bullens, as well as deception detection expert and bestselling author Pamela Meyer.

Visit www.converus.com.

As portion of Trump's travel ban takes effect, both sides claim victory in SCOTUS decision to hear case

Trump

By Steve Bittenbender
Editor, Government Security News

As a portion of President Trump’s travel ban went into effect Thursday evening, both supporters and critics of it said they could claim a victory in the ongoing legal battle over the president’s executive order.

As of 8 pm ET Thursday night­­, foreign nationals from six Middle Eastern and African countries who were outside of the United States and had no connection inside the country would be barred, temporarily, from entering.

That action was allowed after the Supreme Court on Monday announced it would review the entire order, which calls for a 90-day ban from accepting travelers from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The justices will hear the case in October.

“Protection officers are trained and prepared to professionally process in accordance with the laws of the United States persons with valid visas who present themselves for entry,” the statement said. “We expect no disruptions to service.”

The order was a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign platform on national security. He signed his first executive order calling for a temporary ban in his first week in office. After federal courts upheld a restraining order on the ban, Trump issued a revised order in March that was still met with legal challenges.

Federal courts also upheld restraining orders against the revised ban, which removed Iraq from the list of banned countries and allowed entry to residents from the other six nations who held valid visas or met other requirements.

That’s why the Supreme Court’s decision was seen as a victory by some of Trump’s most ardent supporters.

“This is a major blow to anti-Trump activist judges on the lower courts,” Judicial Watch said in a statement earlier this week. “And it is a big victory for our nation’s security, President Trump, and the rule of the law. In light of today’s strong ruling, the Trump administration should consider additional steps to keep terrorists out of the United States.”

Trump went on Twitter after the justices’ decision, saying it was a “Great day for America’s future Security and Safety.”

However, the ACLU, whose lawyers have filed suit against the bans, said the Supreme Court’s decision would severely restrict the number of people truly affected by the ban. If a non-visa holder has a connection to the United States, they will be allowed entry. That could mean a spouse or family member, or it could mean an organization. For example, if a Libyan student who did not have a visa earned acceptance to a U.S. college, they would not be denied entry during the 90-day ban.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, said the Trump Administration plan to block even those who have a relationship with someone in the United States “defies common sense” and is too restrictive.

Booker also took exception with the focus on Muslims in the ban, and the lawyers fighting the order said the order was an attack on a specific religion.

“We are confident that when the court reviews this unconstitutional order this fall, it will strike it down once and for all, and vindicate both our fundamental commitment to religious neutrality and the responsibility of the courts to serve as an independent check on the exercise of presidential power,” said Cody Wofsy and Skadden Fellow in an article on the ACLU’s Web site.

Before Congress, Aerojet touts solar electric propulsion as key for deep space exploration

Cassady

WASHINGTON June 29, 2017 Aerojet Rocketdyne, the nation’s premiere propulsion provider and a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), advocates Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) as a central element of America’s deep space architecture.

During testimony before the Subcommittee on Space in the U.S. House of Representatives, Joe Cassady, executive director for Space Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne, said, “SEP is key to a sustainable architecture by enabling efficient transfer of cargo, habitats and payloads to deep space destinations in advance of astronaut arrival.”

SEP systems have between 6 and 10 times the propellant efficiency (specific impulse) of traditional chemical propulsion systems. More than 200 commercial, civil, national security and defense spacecraft are currently flying SEP for stationkeeping, repositioning and orbit-raising.

Aerojet Rocketdyne is currently working on three separate high-power electric propulsion systems for NASA: NEXT-C xenon ion engine for planetary missions; Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) for deep space cargo missions; and NASA’s NextSTEP 100kW Nested Hall Thruster for future technology insertion.

Cassady emphasized the need to take advantage of strategic logistics planning in the journey to Mars. He used the analogy of military deployment to the SEP approach for Mars cargo, saying, “Heavy equipment, supplies, and other logistical items are pre-deployed by large cargo ships and planes to the region. Then, once the equipment, barracks, etcetera are ready, the troops follow by faster air transport. SEP systems are equivalent to cargo ships for deep space missions.”

Approximately 75 percent of the mass required for human missions to Mars can be transported using SEP, thereby reducing the number of launches required. Additionally, the SEP systems under development now by NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne can reduce the amount of propellant needed for deep space missions by a factor of 10.

“As NASA looks to expand human presence in the solar system, starting with missions to lunar orbit and onto Mars, development of efficient in-space transportation systems is critical,” added Cassady. “We are well on our way to having efficient in-space transportation with SEP. We must continue to adequately fund these development efforts to ensure that we will have the first human footprints on Mars in the 2030s.”

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.

eResilience offers summary, upcoming webinar regarding DFARS cybersecurity requirements

ALEXANDRIA, VA June 23, 2017 The Department of Defense held an "Industry Information Day" today to provide information regarding the DFARS 252.204-7012 clause, which requires all DoD contractors who work with Covered Defense Information (CDI) to implement all 110 security controls specified under the NIST Special Publication 800-171 before the end of this year.

Although contractors had held out hope that the December 31st deadline would be extended, today's Industry Day briefings made it clear that there will be no extension, so contractors interested in remaining eligible to bid on DoD contracts should take action now in order to complete their implementation of DFARS requirements before year's end.  

"Implementation of the NIST standards and other requirements of DFARS 7012 can be challenging for even the most experienced contractors," said Nelson Kanemoto, founder of eResilience, a division of Referentia Systems. "For small and medium sized businesses it's even more difficult because of limited time and resources. Today's news that there won't be any extension of the deadlines makes it critical for contractors to get started ASAP, especially since it's not guaranteed that government contract officers will accept a System Security Plan and POAM for implementing DFARS regulations as an alternative to timely compliance. If you're non-compliant at the end of the year you risk having to stop work."

A summary of highlights from the Industry Day event can be found at www.eresilience.com/IndustryDay

To help contractors navigate these regulations, eResilience has partnered with the Cyber Collaboration Center (CCC), a non-profit organization fostering collaboration between industry, academia, and government on cybersecurity issues.  The Cyber Collaboration Center is producing a series of free, live streaming webinars focused on providing updates and information about DFARS compliance.

The first session in the series, "DFARS 7012 Cybersecurity Requirements Update for Contract Managers" will be presented on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 1400 PST by McCarter & English, LLP, a law firm with specific expertise on DFARS contract regulations, and will include a briefing on highlights from today's DFARS Industry Day. 

Access to the webinar series is available at www.cybercollaborationcenter.org. The suggested audience includes Executives, Contracts Managers (from both industry and government), Program Managers, IT Managers, and Facility Security Officers.  There is no cost or obligation associated with attending the webinars.  For more information, contact Larry Lieberman at (808) 840-8580 or [email protected]

About eResilience (www.eresilience.com):  eResilience is a new division of Referentia Systems, a National Security Agency (NSA) Trusted Integrator, focused on commercial cybersecurity solutions, risk management and DFARS compliance services.

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