DISA is Merging Its Cyber Operations Into a Single Cloud-Based Platform

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The Unified Situational Cyber Awareness capability would help cyber analysts keep tabs on every part of the Department of Defense Information Network.

The Pentagon is planning to consolidate its various cybersecurity capabilities into a single platform that would give digital defenders a bird’s-eye view of the department’s entire digital ecosystem.

The Defense Information Systems Agency is looking for vendors to build a cloud-based enterprise platform that would act as a hub for all cybersecurity operations across the Department of Defense Information Network, or DoDIN. By bringing together the department’s disparate cyber capabilities into one place, the platform, called the Unified Situational Cyber Awareness capability, would let personnel rapidly analyze cyber information and coordinate defenses across the department.

The system would also connect to U.S. Cyber Command’s Unified Platform to enable “full-spectrum cyberspace operations,” according to DISA officials. The agency would also use the tech support digital security efforts within the National Security Agency and the department’s various combatant commands and services, they said.

“The UCSA environment will provide a secure, consolidated and integrated [defensive cyber operations] and [situational awareness] environment for cybersecurity analysts within the Department of Defense to protect and defend the DoDIN,” DISA wrote in a solicitation published Friday. “UCSA, once operational, will integrate disparate cyber platforms into one interoperable and extendable network of cyber capabilities.”

The system would reside in a new hybrid cloud environment the Pentagon is creating to enhance its cyber defense operations, the solicitation said, but it would also connect to legacy applications housed in department data centers.

According to the solicitation, the platform will consist of three parts: a data lake to house cyber information, a computation layer and a repository of analytics and visualization tools. The system would allow for more information sharing among the Pentagon’s cyber personnel and prevent the department from duplicating any cybersecurity efforts, officials said.

The “centralized cyber defense environment” would also make it easier to coordinate cyber operations and provision security policies across the DoDIN, they said. Under the contract, vendors would integrate multiple existing cyber defense tools in the new platform and help migrate DISA users to the new system. 

The contractor would be responsible for deploying classified and unclassified versions of the system at the two highest “impact levels,” a six-tier scale that DISA uses to measure the security of cloud providers.

The contract will run up to five years. Interested vendors must submit proposals by Sept. 20.