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Large agencies on board with DHS' cyber program

Jul. 12, 2013 - 09:44AM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
OASIS next steps MWM 20130711
John Streufert, director of National Cyber Security Division at the Homeland Security Department, participates in a panel discussion July 11 about cyber acquisitions at the Multiple-Award Government and Industry Conference in Alexandria, Va. Streufert outlined the department's plans to award a potential $6 billion contract as early as this month to provide continuous monitoring cybersecurity services to the 17 largest federal civilian agencies and itself. (Mike Morones / Staff)

The Homeland Security Department plans to award a potential $6 billion contract as early as this month to provide continuous monitoring cybersecurity services to the 17 largest federal civilian agencies and itself.

DHS will centrally oversee the procurement, operations, and maintenance of diagnostic tools for agencies to quickly identify and fix cyber risks in their networks.

DHS expects the tools will eventually conduct 60 billion to 80 billion security checks at least every three days across government. Summaries of that data will be reported to a DHS system called CyberScope and used to identify and address the government's most severe security problems.

At the agency level, managers will be aware of all hardware and software that has access to their networks and ensure they meet security standards. The tools will continuously scan their networks and verify whether agency technology is properly configured.

John Streufert, who leads DHS’ continuous diagnostic and mitigation program, outlined the program Thursday at a contracting conference.

“Our attention here needs to be on how to organize ourselves in such a way that we can respond rapidly and comprehensively, and I think that the reaction of the departments and agencies is measured by the numbers who are ready to do business at this moment, a period before the award has even occurred,” Streufert said.

The potential five-year contract has a ceiling value of $6 billion, according to a blog post by Deltek analyst Kyra Fussell. The General Services Administration is awarding the blanket purchase agreement on behalf of DHS, and Fussell said GSA will charge agencies a 2 percent fee to use the contract.

Streufert said memorandums of understanding by the participating agencies lay out how cybersecurity data collected by the monitoring tools will be handled and protected.

The administration’s IT Dashboard shows that DHS is slated to spend $183 million on the program this year.

“We’re ready to do business, [and] we have money in the bank,” Streufert said.

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