DHS picks Cyber Apex Solutions for critical infrastructure cyber research agreement

The Department of Homeland Security has awarded Cyber Apex Solutions a potential five-year, $70 million "other transaction agreement" contract to research prototypes for cyber defense technologies to use in protection of critical infrastructure.

Arlington, Va.-based Cyber Apex Solutions will establish a consortium of partners through individual project agreements to carry out applied research under the DHS Next Generation Cyber Infrastructure Apex program first launched in 2016.

Financial services will be the initial area of focus for Cyber Apex Solutions under this OTA, through which DHS will fund tests, evaluations and transitions of prototype technologies to reduce risks of cyber attacks.

DHS established the NGCI Apex program in response to the PPD-21 Presidential Policy Directive that identified 16 critical infrastructure sectors including financial services.

Subsequent to PPD-21, DHS and financial sector entities identified challenges such as undetected network intrusions, incomplete or inaccurate understanding of cyber environments and the need to protect systems while simultaneously maintaining adequate operating capacity.

NGCI Apex's partners include DHS, the Treasury and major financial services organizations that seek to jointly address cyber issues. Subsequent phases of the program will focus on development of new cyber tools and technologies for use in other critical infrastructure sectors that include government, energy and communications.

The Cyber Apex Solutions-led consortium will include cyber researchers, academics and other companies to identify and locate possible technologies with the help of a Cyber Apex Review Team. That group includes chief information security officers and other cyber leaders from financial institutions, the Treasury and DHS.

Cyber Apex Solutions and partners will aim to address five primary gaps DHS identified as specific to financial institutions in dynamic network defense, network characterization, malware detection, software assurance and insider threats.

Through the OTA, DHS will help Cyber Apex Solutions choose awardees for research projects and jointly with the company manage the prototype, pilot, deployment and transition phases.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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