Security is among the single greatest concern government agencies have about moving their systems to the cloud. Although it offers significant benefits, cloud computing continues to raise questions about data and system protection. Regardless, the Office of Management and Budget via its Cloud Smart Strategy and the previous Cloud First policy mandates government agencies move to the cloud.
“There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think … it’s all about the information.” These lines are from the 1992 movie Sneakers, a film exploring the possibility of a decryption machine that could break any code, obliterating the ability to protect secrets. Nearly three decades later, the fictitious decoder still doesn’t exist, but the importance of data has grown exponentially.
The U.S. Army its transforming its Department of the Army’s Management Office-Cyber (DAMO-CY) to include a wider range of joint all-domain operations capabilities.
Col. Jay Chapman, USA, division chief, Mission Command, in the Army CIO/G-6 office, revealed the change at a February 13 luncheon event in Arlington, Virginia, hosted by the AFCEA Washington, D.C. chapter.
Cloud computing can quicken U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) efforts toward information dominance, but agencies must be measured and deliberate in the march toward the cloud.
The U.S. military relies heavily on companies to research, develop and manufacture innovative technologies to support missions. This hasn’t always been the case. A century ago, it was often the armed services that conceived and created the latest solutions. But when the world goes to war, it’s all hands on deck.
With unlimited resources, delving into fantastical technical solutions is easy. However, in the real world, the government and the private sector must solve real-life problems with realistic budgets. And today, both funds and available expertise are at a premium. Consequently, agencies must rely on companies they trust, and corporations only thrive when they invest in solutions likely to flourish in the future.
Between now and Valentine’s Day, the U.S. Defense Department will begin to build out its unclassified department-wide cloud platform, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, known as JEDI. And approximately six months after that, DOD will stand up its secret cloud environment, followed later by the top secret cloud, all part of JEDI, reported Dana Deasy, Defense Department chief information officer, at the AFCEA Nova Chapter’s Air Force IT Day in Arlington, Va., last Thursday.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Cloud Based Internet Isolation prototyping effort is already eliminating cyber threats every day, says Angela Landress, who manages the program commonly known as CBII.
The program uses a little technological sleight of hand to keep non-secure Internet browsing in the secure Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud rather than on the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN). “What comes back from the cloud is actually just a video-like representation of the webpage. There’s nothing executable in it,” Landress explains.
The U.S. Cyber Command selected Applied Insight's subsidiary Stratus Solution to provide a cloud platform to the command, according to the company. Under the contract, the company will support the comand's ability to adopt commercial cloud services and migrate its activities into the cloud, by use of the company’s cloud platform-as-a-service called Altitude. The company will support the command in developing and implementing a secure, flexible and scalable cloud platform, and overseeing its migration to the cloud and the ongoing operation of its cloud environment as it scales, a company officiael stated. The company will provide architecture design, implementation and operation, security acceleration, and cloud governance.
Milpatis, California-based Avocado Systems* received a $1.8 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program Phase II award from the U.S. Air Force to evaluate the company's ability to protect Air Force data centers and cloud systems, according to a company announcement. Through AFWERX, the award has the company evaluating Avocado's patented application security solution to secure enterprise level cloud and data center infrastructures. The company's Pico-Segmentation technology secures application, web and data tiers inside of clouds and data centers, a company official stated. *Small Business
U.S. Army officials expect in the coming weeks or months to release a data strategy that will be closely aligned with its existing cloud strategy and are also building an enterprise cloud office, according to Gregory Garcia, the Army’s deputy chief information officer/G-6 and chief data officer.
Garcia made the remarks during an address and fireside chat on the second morning of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.
“We have a data strategy that’s going to be processed in the next weeks and months. That’s going to get after making sure data is visible, accessible, understandable and interoperable,” he said.
Officials from several federal agencies testified on Wednesday as to the effectiveness of the government’s cloud accreditation process, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, with mixed reviews. Most witnesses before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing, entitled To the Cloud! The Cloudy Role of FedRAMP in IT Modernization, confirmed the positive benefits of the program.
On Friday, the Defense Department released its DOD Digital Modernization Strategy, aiming to greatly improve the military’s digital environment. The strategy aims to modernize the DOD’s joint information enterprise environment by advancing its fixed and mobile networking capabilities,; DOD-wide enterprise information technology (IT) services, coordinated technology refresh efforts, joint cybersecurity capability and access to data.
Innovative Defense Technologies,* Arlington, Virginia, is awarded a $12,972,431 option under a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract N00014-19-C-1054 for the Cloud-to-Edge development under Small Business Innovative Research project in Phase III. With the exercise of this option, it brings the value of the contract to $13,001,964. Work will be performed at the contractor's facility in Arlington, Virginia, and work is expected to be completed June 28, 2024. Fiscal year 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $9,774,000 will be obligated at the time of award. No funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, chief information officer/G-6, U.S. Army, suggests the possibility of an Internet of Strategic Things in addition to the Internet of Tactical Things.
“We’ve had some really good discussions about the Internet of Things. That was a thing a couple of years ago. And then we started talking about the Internet of Tactical Things. I think what’s on the horizon is more of a discussion of the Internet of Strategic Things,” Gen. Crawford told the audience on the second day of the AFCEA TechNet Cyber 2019 conference in Baltimore.
The Navy’s new Combat to Connect in 24 Hours (C2C24) is an ambitious program that has the potential to change naval warfare as we know it.
The program is designed to improve operational efficiency by automating the Navy’s risk management framework (RMF) efforts; providing sailors with near real-time access to critical data; and accelerating the Navy’s ability to deploy new applications in 24 hours rather than the typical 18 months.
Over the next five years, artificial intelligence (AI) will redefine what the U.S. federal government can achieve with technology. AI will help ensure our nation stays competitive, effectively serves its citizens and maintains safety for Americans at home and abroad.
In every recent discussion I have had with government and defense leaders around IT modernization, the conversation quickly leads to cloud and its role in enabling agile ways of working for government. Many agencies have already developed cloud migration targets and are looking at how they can accelerate cloud adoption.
Trident Juncture 2018, a large-scale NATO military exercise, wrapped up late last year. But in the weeks since, the alliance has been doing something it has never done before by using big data science to help inform lessons learned from the exercise.
Dell Marketing LP, Round Rock, Texas, was awarded an estimated $231,170,000 firm-fixed-price blanket purchase agreement (BPA) in accordance with the firm’s General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedule contract. This agreement will provide VMware brand-name software licenses, software maintenance and services to the Department of the Navy (DON). The products will meet the following functional capabilities: data center and Cloud infrastructure; networking and security; storage and availability; Cloud management; network functions virtualization; digital workspace; desktop and application virtualization; and training.
Commercial cloud offers the federal government access to a dynamic computing environment almost immediately, with services or capabilities they may not have previously had access to during the time of having to purchase all of the hardware, software and infrastructure themselves. However, the roll out to the cloud for the government has not come quickly or easily, experts say.