Contrary to popular belief, illegal crossings along the southern border of the United States are at their lowest levels since the 1970s, according to Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), who is calling on Congress to pass a 2015 appropriations bill to fund additional security measures for border protection and homeland security.
Department of Homeland Security
Avineon Inc., McLean, Va., a global provider of information technology, geospatial and engineering support services, announced it has been awarded an Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading-Edge Solutions II (EAGLE II) contract by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The contract, designed to obtain information technology support services, was awarded under the unrestricted track for functional category one service delivery. Task orders for various services, including integration, software design and development, and operations and maintenance support, may be solicited under this contract by any DHS component.
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has transitioned the first technology in its Transition to Practice (TTP) program to commercial market two years ahead of schedule. The effort involves Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Quantum Secured Communication, which was picked up by the company Allied Minds. That private-sector entity exclusively licensed the technology in August 2013 and formed Whitewood Encryption Systems Incorporated to bring it to market. The product is a next-generation encryption system that leverages the quantum properties of light.
Luke J. McCormack has been appointed as chief information officer for the Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate has unveiled an open source cybersecurity tool for information sharing across the Internet. Open Secure Socket Layer (OpenSSL) version 2.0 is a free, publicly available security application that meets all federal security guidelines and is now available for government agencies. All agencies using cryptographic software validated for Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 can now use the new version, which applies to cryptography that protect sensitive or valuable data within the federal government.
Rosemary Wenchel has been appointed deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity, National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has appointed Michael W. Locatis III assistant secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at the National Protection and Programs Directorate.
Members of the two morning panels at the DHS 2012 Information Technology Industry Day hammered home the need all DHS agencies have for information sharing and information security within a mobile environment. In addition to constrained budgets-a topic that all the panelists said was unnecessary to mention yet spoke about extensively-the agencies continue to face slow processes to put these capabilities into place. Among the hurdles that continue to surface are slow certification and accreditation processes, barriers to entrance for industry and exit from contracts for government, and management of authoritative data sources.
Although not claiming victory, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made some serious headway in improving cybersecurity, according to panelists discussing the topic at the DHS 2012 Information Technology Industry Day in Washington, D.C. Experts said the threats have not disappeared but rather have changed, and various DHS agencies have been learning how to better handle them. Alma Cole, chief systems security officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, described today's cyberthreats in a way the other panelists agreed with.
Richard Spires, chief information officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), kicked off DHS Industry Day by declaring that it is time to find the balance between the IT needs of individual DHS agencies and leveraging IT throughout the department as a whole. The department needs to take a "shared first" approach to commodities and then look at unique technologies needed by the individual agencies. Although the DHS on the whole has not always completed IT projects on time and on budget, Spires said that the council has set up centers of excellence that help determine how to assist the agencies achieve success.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is looking for the next members of its National Advisory Council (NAC). The NAC provides external guidance on issues ranging from terrorist response to federal preparedness. The agency is seeking applications and nominations from qualified individuals in both the public and private sectors in emergency management, emergency response and cybersecurity. In addition, FEMA is seeking applications from state and local elected officials. Deadline for applications is Friday, March 9, 2012. More information is available online.
Protecting any nation's citizens and institutions is difficult under any circumstances, but today's economic limitations make this task even more challenging. Government and business leaders will meet at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center February 28 to March 1 to tackle this topic during AFCEA International's 11th annual Homeland Security conference. Conference discussion topics include cloud computing, cyberwar, procurement, wireless broadband and social media. Small businesses' interaction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also will be explored.
General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Virginia, recently announced that it has been awarded a blanket purchase agreement to provide information technology support services to the U.S. Coast Guard Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM). The agreement has a ceiling value of $11 million over a five-year period. General Dynamics will provide FORCECOM with information technology and simulator support services for non-standard workstations and systems. Non-standard workstations are customized and stand-alone from the overall enterprise, and support command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems, navigational, telecommunications and shipboard sensors.
General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Virginia, has been awarded a task order through the U.S. General Services Administration's Alliant Contract to support the relocation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's headquarters. The task order has a ceiling value of $876 million and duration of seven years if all options are exercised. As part of the relocation, General Dynamics will provide a seamless, state-of-the-art information-technology (IT) infrastructure that meets the computer networking, telecommunications, building management and physical-security requirements of the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters.
U.S. government agencies continue to expand their biometric identity management capabilities and their ability to share biometrics data among the various agencies and international partners, according to government officials speaking at AFCEA's Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.
Rear Adm. Michael A. Brown, USN, has been nominated for assignment as director, cybersecurity coordination, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
Lattice Incorporated recently announced that it has been awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a demonstrable prototype device able to search for and identify bulk quantities of currency. The company has teamed with the University of Washington to research, design and develop a special-purpose concealed sensor platform specifically targeted to identifying large quantities of U.S. and Canadian concealed currency as well as Euros. In 2001, Congress criminalized the act of smuggling large amounts of cash as part of the U.S. Patriot Act.
Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a potential $2.63 billion task order by the U.S. General Services Administration to install a campus-wide information technology infrastructure for secure communications and operations at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) St. Elizabeths headquarters in Washington, D.C. Northrop Grumman will design, install, test, operate and maintain a seamless, integrated and secure information technology solution throughout the DHS consolidated headquarters campus.
SRC Incorporated recently received a contract from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS-ICE) agency with a potential value of nearly $42 million to establish and maintain a Security Operations Center to help protect critical information technology infrastructure. This contract will enable ICE to monitor its information technology assets 24 hours a day and evaluate and respond to cyber security threats. SRC will lead a team to provide innovative cybersecurity solutions, process improvement strategies and best-of-breed technologies for ICE.