Defense hires help ferreting out cybersecurity weaknesses


A-T Solutions wins $90 million red teaming contract.

A-T Solutions, which provides intelligence and cybersecurity tools for government agencies, won a $90 million contract from the Defense Department to demonstrate security weaknesses in units and computer networks.

It will work with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Nuclear Support Assessments Division’s so-called red teams.

Red teams may carry out pentesting, which involves simulating attacks by malicious hackers, and social engineering, the practice of impersonation to get unauthorized access to systems. The goal is to spotlight vulnerabilities that could be exploited.

The Defense Department’s red team “performs all assessments entirely from an adversarial perspective emulating threats ranging from well-funded terrorist organizations to foreign intelligence services,” according to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s fiscal 2012 budget estimates.

Vienna, Va.-based A-T Solutions’ clients include the Army Technical Forensic Exploitation Branch, the U.S. intelligence community and the Homeland Security Department. The firm has been on an acquisitions streak in the past four years and announced in 2011 that it purchased Innovative Technology Systems, a company that made IT tools for the intelligence community.