Five cybersecurity hotspots in a reorganized DISA
- By Lloyd McCoy
- Apr 23, 2015
The beginning of this year saw the official start of DISA’s new organization, one that agency director Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins says will mean a greater emphasis on cybersecurity.
One of the main aspects of the reorganization is the creation of the Development and Business Center, led by Alfred Rivera. This will be where new technology solutions are brought into the DISA (and by extension, DOD) environment.
Given this reorganization, there may be uncertainty as to where opportunities exist for cybersecurity vendors. With DISA’s emphasis on cybersecurity, I thought I’d take a look at where cybersecurity vendors should hunt for opportunities.
I’ll focus on the Infrastructure Development Directorate, a component of the Development and Business Center, because this is where many programs overseeing DISA’s largest cybersecurity initiatives and investments reside.
The Infrastructure Software Services Division is where you’ll find the Cloud Services Branch. This office is responsible for developing and deploying DISA’s private cloud, milCloud, as well as figuring out DISA’s role in support cloud services. Despite losing its cloud broker status, DISA is actively exploring ways for commercial cloud providers to host classified information for the rest of the department. In fact, any of DOD’s most sensitive programs of record will always be hosted within DISA’s storage infrastructure.
The Cyber Security Division is where offices overseeing end point security and configuration management ended up. DISA is currently looking for the next generation of end-point security, which is especially important as the DOD network becomes increasingly connected to outside cloud infrastructures.
The Cybersecurity Infrastructure branch also supports DISA’s big data analytics platform, the Cyber Situational Awareness Analytic Cloud (CSAAC). CSAAC aims to make sense of the data it receives from tools that operate and secure DOD’s network. In addition to security, this type of capability also comes with requirements centering on business intelligence, visualization, and data management solutions.
The Cyber Situational Awareness and Analytics Division addresses the need to maintain and improve awareness of what’s happening on DOD’s networks, and threats that may crop up. I imagine this is where you’ll also see network monitoring related requirements for the Joint Force Headquarters. The Joint Force HQ, led by outgoing Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, will work with DISA to expose and address vulnerabilities on the Defense Department’s network. These were day-to-day tasks that the U.S. Cyber Command performed but wants to take off its plate.
The Infrastructure Development directorate is also home to DISA’s Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) Program Office. DISA partners with the Army and Air Force (soon to include Navy) on centralizing the DOD’s network security monitoring infrastructure. There is a lot of attention on the JRSS to see if the department can pull it off since it is the most tangible manifestation of the Joint Information Environment concept.
Last but certainly not least, is the Mobility Portfolio Management Office, which oversees mobility infrastructure and making sure cybersecurity policies are implemented. This office is at the center of the DOD Mobility program. Expect major activity as DISA ramps up deployment of approved mobile devices across the DOD enterprise.
The above-mentioned offices and projects reflect DOD’s commitment to shrinking its network infrastructure, improving situational awareness, and cultivating a more mobile workforce. These priorities are all part of the Joint Information Environment’s vision of common standards and ubiquitous interoperability and DISA is right in the middle of what’s happening. These five offices in the Infrastructure Development directorate will give you a head start in tapping into the stream of the Department of Defense’s top cybersecurity priorities.
The chart describes where these offices sit inside DISA's new organization.
Lloyd McCoy is a manager on the Market Intelligence team at immixGroup, an Arrow Electronics company, which powers the future of public sector IT. The team utilizes a research-driven approach to help technology companies develop successful business strategies to sell to the public sector.