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DISA seeks to extend contract for cyber threat sharing network

Defense Department file photo

The Defense Information Systems Agency wants to award Booz Allen Hamilton a $9.9 million contract extension to continue beefing up the capacity of a network used by defense contractors to share cyber threat information with the Defense Department.

Defense kicked off a cyber threat information sharing project with a small pool of defense contractors in the summer of 2011 and in May 2012 the department said it wanted to open the program to all defense contractors.

Most networks that control power, weapons system data and other critical services that support the military are privately owned. Under existing law, the government does not have the authority to regulate their security. The cyber threat sharing program is a way for Defense and its contractors to learn from reports of intrusions without compromising corporate reputations.

Contractors share cyber threat information with the Pentagon over the Defense Industrial Base Network operated by DISA and supported by Booz Allen under a $24.3 million contract which reached its ceiling value at the end of August.

The Pentagon plans to open up the Defense Industrial Base Network to 2,650 contractors with more than 15,000 end users during the next five years, and DISA said it needs support from Booz Allen for the network through September 2013, when a new contract should be in place.

DISA not only plans to beef up the scale of the contractor network but also to enhance its capabilities, as directed by Teresa Takai, chief information officer at Defense.

These upgrades include the addition of multiuser chat to the network, credential management capability, cross-domain management between unclassified networks  and credential management.

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