CYBERCOM Has a Vendor In Mind For Its Big Data Platform But Is Open to Options

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The military’s cyber branch plans to award a sole-source contract to manage and enhance its Big Data Platform but wants to know if other vendors are capable of bidding.

Anyone with a passing understanding of cyberspace knows there’s a lot of data out there. As the military command charged with fighting and defending that domain, U.S. Cyber Command needs a platform that can move, store and process all that data.

CYBERCOM contracting officials posted a special notice Monday announcing plans to award a sole-source contract to manage the Big Data Platform program, which looks to help the command and military branches ingest and process huge swaths of data from across the internet. Officials intend to award the contract to Enlighten IT Consulting, however, they are reaching out to industry to see if a full competition is warranted.

“Any response to this notice must show clear and convincing evidence that competition would be advantageous to the government,” the notice states, urging interested qualified vendors to respond by noon on Dec. 11.

The vendor will be expected to develop prototypes for capabilities based on proofs of concept, design and build key components for those capabilities and integrate them with CYBERCOM infrastructure, as well as other military branches.

“Critical tasks include data acquisition, processing and storing packet capture, engineering support, enhancing the BDP tool suite according to real-world conditions and beta testing with the user population that includes Cyber Protection Teams, Computer Network Defense Service Providers, and Regional Cyber Centers,” according to the statement of work. The work will include “sustainment and enhancement” of tools in the classified and unclassified areas.

Program officials expect this effort to “significantly enhance” the platform’s core capabilities. Officials are not looking for an overhaul of CYBERCOM’s analytics capabilities, but rather the underlying metadata and tagging processes and existing data feeds that categorizes the data and help the analysts find what they are looking for.

However, “The contractor shall support the testing, deployment, integration and sustainment of BDP analytics as required,” the document states. “The contractor shall also assess and evaluate implementing analytics as developed by others on the BDP.”

Along with those capability enhancements, the vendor will also be expected to act as a system administrator, including ensuring the right people and teams have access to needed information and ensuring that information is properly stored and secured.

The Big Data Platform is part of a suite of tools CYBERCOM is using to analyze threat data and act as an information clearinghouse for the military and defense industrial base, according to Lisa Belt, acting cyber development executive at the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Acropolis coupled with Big Data coupled with [the Cyber Situational Awareness Analytical Capabilities program] all come together to form what we consider the basis of our data brokering and analytics platform,” Belt said during DISA’s Forecast to Industry day Nov. 5.

The contract will run for up to three years, with one base year and two one-year add-on options.