DISA

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.

September 15, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is seeking information from small businesses as potential sources to provide cyber-related support services; to conduct activities; and to create products to improve the U.S. Defense Department's cyber systems. Specifically, the agency's omnibus indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract will support the U.S. Cyber Command's ability to operate resilient, reliable information and communication networks; counter cyberspace threats; and assure access to cyberspace.

July 18, 2014
By George I. Seffers

It’s traditional for journalists to end an interview with some version of the question, “What would you like to add?” On the surface, it is the softest of softball questions—so broad and general that there is no wrong answer.

Some sources take this opportunity to repeat their major talking points. Others simply say they have nothing to add. And some will offer a warm and fuzzy, feel-good quote about partnering or working hand-in-hand, or about how great their employees are. All are perfectly legitimate responses.

But on very rare occasions, a source will take this opportunity to make news. And from a reporter’s perspective, this is the absolute best kind of answer.

July 3, 2014
By Chris LaPoint

Thousands of military information technology security personnel probably sat down at their computers this morning and opened a spreadsheet listing hundreds of rules for Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) compliance. They then might have spent hours logging onto information technology devices, looking at configurations and laboriously going through them line by line to ensure each setting matched the rules in that spreadsheet.

In six months, they’ll do it all over again.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) views the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) as a key partner in its effort to secure defense cyberspace. This includes the agency having an operational mission in which it plays a critical role in defending defense cyberspace, according to the commander of CYBERCOM.

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, USN, CYBERCOM’s commander, told the luncheon audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, that his command already is planning a command and control construct in which DISA can carry out this new mission. The admiral sees DISA playing a key role as defense networking becomes more centralized.

May 14, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

A key tenet of the Joint Information Environment (JIE) will be the ability of users to have access to the same information system capabilities regardless of physical location, according to Defense Information System Agency (DISA) officials. Speaking on the final day of AFCEA’s three-day JIE Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14, the panel of officials described the importance of mobile capability as well as connectivity.

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