DISA

April 20, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

Cybermarauders have become so malevolent that today’s environment is nothing less than “cyberwarfare,” according to the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Lt. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, USA, told the keynote luncheon audience at Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS) 2016, being held in Washington, D.C., April 20-22, that cyber has changed considerably over the past few years.

April 20, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is undergoing a reorganization, effective May 1, that aims to refocus efforts more efficiently for government and contractors alike. Traditional portfolios have been rearranged to reflect new emphases and service patterns.

Tony Montemarano, executive deputy director, DISA, outlined those changes during the opening session of the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS) 2016, being held in the Washington, D.C., Convention Center, April 20-22. Montemarano was blunt about the challenges facing DISA in this new era.

April 18, 2016
DISA has awarded UltiSat Inc. a task order valued at more than $9 million to provide Ku bandwidth capacity to support Global Hawk flight tests.

UltiSat Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland, has announced that the Defense Information Systems Agency Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization recently awarded a COMSATCOM Transponded Capacity task order to UltiSat to provide Ku bandwidth capacity to the United States Global Vigilance Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base near Palmdale, California. Services will support Global Hawk Unmanned Air Vehicle to flight tests. UltiSat will support GH Ku-band earth terminals associated with the Global Hawk Mission Control Element which may be located at any of several locations in California. This task order falls under the Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition Schedule 70 contract vehicle.

April 12, 2016
By Brian Fogg

The evolution of information technology is heading toward a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Companies such as Cisco and Nutanix already are delivering HCI platforms that logically and seamlessly manage, configure and allocate memory. Additionally, a software-centric HCI combines computing, storage, network and virtualization technologies into one system, which can streamline resources and eliminate the need to navigate to different applications and platforms.

February 25, 2016
By Joel Dolisy

OK, your New Year’s resolutions are probably distant memories, but resolutions to improve agency IT security should be yearlong endeavors. Before gearing up to move forward with implementing new fiscal year 2016 IT initiatives, it is a best practice to conduct a security audit to establish a baseline and serve as a comparison to start thinking about how the agency’s infrastructure and applications should change, and what impact that will have on IT security throughout the year.

It’s critical to maintain a consistent focus on security all year long. Security strategies, plans and tactics must be established and shared so that IT security teams are on the same page for the defensive endeavor.

January 26, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Dallas Goecker joins a panel discussion on mobility from Indiana via a robotic telepresence device developed by Suitable Technologies to facilitate remote collaboration. Goecker was a panelist at Mobile Tech Summit held in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Carpenter

The U.S. government and industry are at a critical juncture in the development of the much-anticipated fifth generation, or 5G, mobile networks slated for rollout in five years and are presented with opportunities to work in tandem to build in security measures to protect the whole of communication networks, said Rear Adm. David Simpson, USN Ret., chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission.

January 12, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
DISA officials present agency needs to industry during an AFCEA DC Chapter breakfast that included (l-r) Tony Montemarano, David Mihelcic, John Hickey and Alfred Rivera. Photo by Mike Carpenter.

Not all the news surrounding shrinking federal budgets is bad news. Dwindling coffers mean the government increasingly relies on ready-made products and services from private industry for solutions to both carry out day-to-day operations and prepare for the future.

November 10, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, commander of Joint Force Headquarters–DODIN and DISA, forecasts future requirements and needed solutions to protect the Defense Department from cyber attacks during an AFCEA D.C. Chapter event. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The cyber attack into a key unclassified email server of the U.S. Joint Chiefs in August helped indoctrinate and shape missions at the new centralized office erected to defend the Defense Department’s cyber networks, said Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, commander of Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Networks (DODIN).

The nation-state-sponsored attack was a bit of a shock in its aggressiveness, said Gen. Lynn, who also serves as the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). “For three weeks, we went after this cyber event and worked it to figure out how we now work as this new command.”

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.

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