Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
17 companies will participate in $6 billion ‘continuous diagnostics’ contract from DHS
DHS announced on August 13 that 17 companies have been awarded contracts to provide what is called “continuous diagnostics and mitigation” services.
The General Services Administration (GSA) has announced that it is offering DHS, all federal departments, as well as state, local and tribal governments access to a multiple-award Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) that offer “Continuous Monitoring as a Service,” or CMaaS, related products, services and solutions.
These BPAs were established on behalf of the DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C) Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program.
The CDM Program helps transform the way federal and other government entities manage their cyber networks through strategically sourced tools and services. It enhances the ability of government entities to strengthen the posture of their cyber networks. The CDM Program brings an enterprise approach to continuous diagnostics, and allows consistent application of best practices.
“The CDM program is a huge step forward for government security,” said Kenneth Kartsen, vice president and head of federal business at McAfee. “The necessary but limited and largely manual check-the-box approach of FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act) was like looking through a rear-view mirror. By contrast, the CDM program illustrates the real progress DHS and the government are making in cyber security.”
An ordering guide and eligibility requirements can be requested via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CDM Tools/CMaaS BPAs were established using GSA Multiple Award IT Schedule 70 pricing as a benchmark to establish the initial discounts for the BPAs, as well as tiered discounts based on cumulative quantities.
GSA’s role in the project is to provide BPAs that will allow DHS to centrally oversee the procurement, operations, and maintenance of diagnostic sensors (tools) and dashboards deployed to each agency.
The CDM Program will provide specialized information technology (IT) tools and CMaaS to combat cyber threats in the civilian “.gov” networks. The CDM approach moves away from historical compliance reporting and toward combating threats to the nation’s networks on a real-time basis.
The tools and services delivered through the CDM Program will provide users with the ability to enhance and automate their existing continuous network monitoring capabilities; correlate and analyze critical security-related information; and enhance risk-based decision making at the agency and federal enterprise level. Information obtained from the automated monitoring tools will allow for the correlation and analysis of security-related information across the federal enterprise.
Further description of the DHS CDM Program can be found at: http://www.us-cert.gov/cdm
Individual contractors began to announce that they would participate in this continuous diagnostics program.
For example, IBM announced on August 13 that its security software and services offering will be part of the program.
The company noted that as part of the up to $6 billion CDM Program, agencies can leverage IBM consulting services as well security intelligence software including IBM Security Endpoint Manager, IBM Security Appscan and IBM Security QRadar.
“This award from DHS demonstrates that IBM’s $4B annual investment in cybersecurity and security analytics research puts IBM in a unique position to help government agencies meet evolving cybersecurity threats,” said Anne Altman, general manager of U.S. federal for IBM. “IBM’s will draw from our decades of experience working with federal agencies and worldwide clients and our own internal experience in securing the worldwide networks used by our 400,000 plus employees.”
Software technologies from IBM will help securing the thousands of endpoints on vulnerable networks as well as integrating “threat and event data” in real time. IBM Security Endpoint Manager offers a unified management platform that automates and streamlines systems and security management. IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform provides a dashboard and unified architecture for integrating Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), log management, anomaly detection and configuration and vulnerability management.
State and local agencies can also benefit from the CDM Program leveraging the buying power and consistency offered by the program. The CDM Program will help transform the way Federal and other government entities manage their cyber networks through strategically sourced tools and services and enhances the ability of government entities to strengthen the posture of their cyber networks. The CDM Program brings an enterprise approach to continuous diagnostics, and allows consistent application of best practices.
Lockheed Martin Corp. weighed in with the following statement: “Lockheed Martin will draw upon our investment in continuous monitoring technology and partnerships with members of the Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Alliance for this service. Beginning in 2009, Lockheed Martin leveraged advances within its NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center Lab and the Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Alliance to implement a comprehensive solution.”