DISA

November 3, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) seeks to use big data analytics to enhance network situational awareness while automating as many cybersecurity capabilities as possible, officials said during the agency’s November 2 forecast to industry in Washington, D.C.

October 7, 2015

The General Services Administration Federal Systems Integration and Management Center has awarded ManTech International Corporation, Fairfax, Virginia, a contract to provide cyber range services to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and United States Marine Corps (USMC). The contract has a 1-year base period and three option years, with a value of $250 million. This award expands services and capabilities to enhance cyber workforce operational tactics, techniques, and procedures across agencies.

September 16, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

As the Defense Department continues to forge closer relations with Silicon Valley, its leaders say they need more tools to improve automation of cyber basics, the department’s chief information officer (CIO) said. “At a certain point, I want to have some cyber defenses completely automated, where certain conditions occur and the system takes its own response,” said CIO Terry Halvorsen. “I think that is the only way we will keep up.” Automation would free up military and civilian cyber staff to concentrate on higher-level work.

August 13, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Marines conduct civil-military operations and collect, process, analyze and share information using software from a smartphone.

The Defense Department’s much-anticipated capability solution to access classified voice and email up to the secret level from mobile devices finally migrated from the pilot stage and now is operational within the department and several federal agencies, says Kimberly Rice, program manger for the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA's) Mobility Program Management Office.

August 5, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
The Army completed the bulk of migration to the DOD Enterprise Email in July 2013. Size limitations will be enforced for mailboxes beginning October 1.

Get ready to clear out the email inbox—because size matters.

Effective Oct. 1, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will enforce size limits of military mailboxes. Each of the U.S. Army's more than 1.4 million Defense Department Enterprise Email (DEE) accounts has a storage limit, with most lumped into the basic class that has a maximum storage space of 512 MB. Business class users have a maximum storage limit of 4 GB. While most workers adhere to size restrictions, as of July 31, more than 75,000 Army personnel stored more than 4 GB of email and more than 7,700 mailboxes exceed 10 GB of storage each, according to an Army statement. That level of heavy use slows the systems and increases costs.

June 18, 2015
By George I. Seffers

Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 3

Quote of the Day: “I absolutely love these conferences. It’s like vendor speed dating.”
—David Stickley, services executive, Defense Information Systems Agency.

On the final day of the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials wooed industry, stressing the need for cooperation and partnership to tackle the toughest problems faced by today’s warfighters.

June 17, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. James McLaughlin, USAF, deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command, kicked off the second day of the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore, during which military officials highlighted the importance of command and control in defending cyberspace.

Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 2

Quote of the Day: “JIE is a good thing, because it allows us to bring a more centralized capability to bear and that is a lot of security capability.”
--John Hickey, DISA cybersecurity risk management authorizing official executive.

June 16, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins Jr., USAF, director, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), releases an updated strategic plan for the agency.

Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 1

Quote of the Day: “Write that down, everybody. Security is the business case.”
--Dave Mihelcic, chief technology officer, DISA.

May 6, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
An Intelsat EpicNG satellite. Rendering courtesy of Boeing

Years ago, commercial satellite providers successfully nudged their way into the military space domain, providing critical bandwidth services for platforms for which the Defense Department could not, particularly for airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (AISR) missions. More than a decade later, some companies are gambling with technological improvements in hopes of retaining that hold on the lucrative market.

April 28, 2015

AT&T Technical Services Co. Inc., Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a ceiling $43,587,859 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for temporary telecommunications services in support of the Defense Information Systems Agency. Work will be performed at locations throughout the continental U.S., with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2016. If all options are exercised, the estimated completion date will be April 30, 2020. Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $3,000 will be obligated on the first task order to satisfy the minimum guarantee. Bids were solicited through the Internet, and one proposal was received.

February 26, 2015
By Ed Bender
U.S. soldiers work on a Mission Event Synchronization List in the Joint Cyber Control Center during Operation Deuce Lightning in 2011.

While it has always been important to strive for interoperability among and across systems within the U.S. military branches and other Defense Department (DOD) agencies, the need now is more critical than ever for the oldest and largest government agency in the United States.

Why now? One primary driving force for a refocus on interoperability is the creation of the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM). Formally established in May 2010, CYBERCOM’s focus, among other things, is to “lead day-to-day defense and protection of DOD information networks,” according to the agency’s mission statement.

February 9, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
DISA's photo illustration of its new online collaboration tool for secure web conferencing.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is rolling out a new open source collaboration service to facilitate secure Web-based conferencing and chats throughout the Defense Department, and is expecting to save millions of dollars the over the legacy enterprise, officials say.

The new capability, called the Defense Collaboration Services (DCS) removes the need for licenses to use it while still providing secure voice and video exchange, among other services, says, Karl Kurz, DCS program manager at DISA.

January 30, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
John Hickey, program manager for Defense Department Mobility at DISA, talks about security assessment and risk acceptance for DOD migration to commercial cloud.

The Defense Department’s slow migration of much of its unclassified and nonsensitive data, along with the unclassified side of its email, to a hybrid cloud solution is taking longer than hoped but is going to happen, promised Defense Department Acting Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen.

“The sound of money is what’s driving this,” Halvorsen told industry members attending the Defense Department’s Cloud Industry Day held Thursday in Washington, D.C. “How do we use the cloud and modern technologies to reduce the cost and drive it into the other part, the warfighting part, of our business?”

January 30, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Mark Orndorff, the mission assurance executive and program executive officer for mission assurance and network operations (NetOps) at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), bids farewell to colleagues today as he retires.

Ornorff’s permanent replacement has yet to be publicly named. Until then, John Hickey, the program manager for Defense Department mobility at DISA, will serve as the interim mission assurance executive.

"I've been with the government for over 36 years and with DISA for over 21 years," Orndorff said.

January 20, 2015
By George I. Seffers

Moving to a cloud environment will save government agencies money, but those savings may not be great, especially in the short term. The cloud environment will, however, provide a range of valuable capabilities, according to three government chief technology officers.

“If you went to the senior executives, they would say it’s all about saving money. I’m going to tell you, though, there isn’t necessarily the immediate savings you might think there is,” said David Mihelcic, chief technology officer, Defense Information Systems Agency. Mihelcic made the comments January 15 at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit in Washington, D.C.

January 13, 2015

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is reorganizing to focus on five Cs: cyber, cloud, collaboration, and command and control, Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., USAF, DISA director, announced Monday at a luncheon event hosted by AFCEA's Washington, D.C. Chapter.The transformed agency will include four centers—business and development, implementation and sustainment, resource management and operations—that will centralize many functions within the agency.In addition to the reorganization, DISA announced Monday that the Joint Force Headquarters DoD Information Network should achieve an initial operating capability Thursday and will provide an operational capability within the cyberdomain.

December 15, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has released a draft of suggestions and recommended revisions to its cloud computing security requirements guide (SRG), which documents the agency’s cloud security requirements for the Defense Department. When accepted, the new SRG would supersede and rescind the previously published cloud security model.

December 2, 2014
By Chris LaPoint

Coming soon to a network near you: consolidation and reinvention.

Two years ago, the U.S. Defense Department developed the Joint Information Environment (JIE) framework. Since then, key stakeholders and drivers of the JIE have been working to realign, restructure and modernize the department’s information technology networks to increase collaboration among departments while reducing the cyberthreat landscape. The JIE vision is an integrated and interoperable joint enterprise environment that can be leveraged across all department missions—an extremely important development as Defense Department dependence on the network has never been higher and cyberthreats are rising.

November 12, 2014

AIS Engineering Incorporated (AIS) has announced it was awarded contract HC1013-14-F-0038 (CTC0195) for commercial satellite communications transponded capacity to provide bandwidth for the Joint Satellite Engineering Center for the project manager Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (PM WIN-T). AIS will be providing the satellite capacity together with SES Government Solutions. The task order is valued at more than $50 million over the life of the contract. The Future Commercial SATCOM Acquisition program is managed by the General Services Administration in partnership with the Defense Information Systems Agency. 

September 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The Defense Information System Agency (DISA) had been identified as the Defense Department’s cloud broker, but that was rescinded just last week, reported Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA, director, command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"People can do a business case analysis and decide where they want to go to get their cloud support, if someone can figure out the secret sauce on how to get it cheaper. It has to be provided to the right security standards, and it will have to be checked,” Gen. Bowman stated, while speaking at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014.

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