Trusted Internet services move a step closer with FTC award

AT&T and other Networx providers see more MTIPS demand on the horizon

All the i’s have been dotted and there remains only one t to be crossed before agencies can start buying Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Services under the General Services Administration Networx contracts.

AT&T Government Solutions, Feb. 12 announced that under a $5 million Networx contract, it would supply the portal security solution for the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC award is the first announced contract, said Jeff Mohan, executive director of AT&T’s Networx program office. However, AT&T has “several” unannounced MTIPS awards also awaiting implementation, he said. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to turn on the MTIPS service in the next month or two.”

Qwest Government Services also has agency “customers waiting to go,” said Tom McMahon, Qwest spokesman. “We have everything in place except the authorization to operate from GSA’s Office of the CIO,” he said.

It’s the same authorization that AT&T and the other Networx contract holders are waiting for.

“It’s a multistep process,” Mohan said. MTIPS solutions have been certified as a security service under Networx, he said, “so we’ve got the GSA Federal Acquisition Services approval.

“It’s on the contract, the prices are there, the technical descriptions are there, all the processes and procedures have been worked out,” he said. “We’re just going through the security certification with GSA’s Office of the CIO. What we’re looking for now is the authority to operate, which is given only after the certification and accreditation activity is completed.”

FTC won’t have to wait for other services also on the contract. AT&T’s Internet Protect security service helps alert IT managers to Web-based attacks that may be brewing. “Internet Protect looks for anomalies like lots of traffic to a specific port on an IP address that hasn’t had [heavy] traffic in the past.” Mohan said.

“If you look into the history of botnets, usually there’s a probe,” he said. “The signature is that whoever’s creating the malware will try it out first, test it on a small scale and tweak it, refine it and once they’re convinced it’s going to cause a lot of havoc, they’ll turn it loose on a big scale. What we do is look for the tweaks” and notify the agency of the possible breach.

With AT&T’s Synaptic HostingSM, FTC ventures into the cloud with on-demand computing. “It lets an organization take advantage of a spike in CPU requirements,” Mohan said. For example, an agency may have a project that will require substantial CPU power. Agencies can subscribe to the service, complete the project, then unsubscribe.

AT&T Government Solutions holds Enterprise and Universal contracts under GSA’s Networx telecommunications acquisition.

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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