Small Business to Receive Big Boost

April 24, 2009

The U.S. Air Force is redoubling its efforts to reach out to small businesses. David Van Buren, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, and Ronald Poussard, director of the service's small business programs, explain that this effort seeks to remove the "check-the-box" mentality often associated with small business outreach. Innovation, agility, responsiveness and efficiency are some of the attributes small companies offer, but Van Buren also says, "We don't have enough competition now. Growing these innovative small businesses will help us rectify that by increasing the industrial base." The service plans to enhance its relationship with small businesses by helping them move into the more mature states of development and production.

Alion Awarded $8.5 Million Air Force Contract

April 24, 2009
By Katie Packard

Alion Science and Technology has been awarded an $8.5 million U.S. Air Force follow-on contract to design and maintain a Web-based system that reports, assesses and predicts Air Force readiness levels. Under the contract, Alion will continue creating the Predictive Readiness Assessment System for the Air Force Readiness Office.

Webinar: Securing the Data Center

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Next in SIGNAL's webinar series, "Securing the Data Center: A DOD Architecture for Information Assurance" will take place on May 7, 2009 at 11:00 AM ET. Targeted attacks by hackers and insiders are aimed where they'll do the most damage and where the most valuable assets are located - the agency data center. Government agencies can increase protection and reduce operational costs when security issues are considered at the very beginning of data center planning. So it's ironic that data center security is often an afterthought. A well thought-out defense-in-depth strategy includes multiple layers of security and different overlapping technologies.

Attendees will learn how a secure data center architecture can:

  • Enable secure rollout of Web 2.0 and SOA services
  • Achieve Policy and Regulatory Compliance
  • Protect Data and Communication Integrity & Privacy
  • Enable Secure Email and Web Transactions
  • Prevent Data Leakage and Disclosure
  • Provide Comprehensive Threat Control

Panelists include:

  • Rich Campbell, Senior Systems Engineer, Cisco Data Center Solutions
  • Andrew Benhase, Consulting Systems Engineer, Cisco Security Solutions
  • Michael Jones, Federal Security Services Manager, Cisco Federal Services

For additional details, including how to register, click here.

Web 2.0 Usage Saves Money, Increases Efficiency

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Michael Byrne, former member of the New York City Fire Department, started out the discussion about how technology can save money with a bold statement: "Web 2.0 is biggest shift in how we communicate since the introduction of the telegraph." At an afternoon break-out session at the National Conference on Emergency Communications, he backed up this statement by explaining that social networking capabilities have replaced traditional one-way communications with dialogue. "It's a dialogue that's taking place that makes it faster to get input from the constituents then ever before," he stated.

FEMA Director Urges States to Apply for Grants

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - National Conference on Emergency Communications attendees interested in grants to fund local programs heard about recent changes to the program during a Thursday session titled "Show Me the Money: Understanding the Grants Process." The Honorable W. Ross Ashley III, FEMA Grant Programs Directorate, DHS, pointed out that partnership is not only the key theme for this conference but also for his directorate.

State-Level Experience Valuable Asset for Members of New Administration

April 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

CHICAGO - Juliette Kayyem, assistant secretary for intergovernmental programs, DHS, led off Thursday afternoon's interactions at the National Conference on Emergency Communications. Kayyem came to the federal government from her position with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where she was the governor's go-to person for homeland security.