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Nick Wakeman

DOD visit to Silicon Valley sparks new tech requirement

In an exclusive interview with our sister publication FCW.com, Defense Department CIO Terry Halvorsen describes how his field trip to Silicon Valley in April is having an impact on a key department-wide IT security project.

Halvorsen visited with large and small tech firms in Silicon Valley including marquee names such as Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle and Google and lesser known companies such as MarkLogic.

What he came away with was at least one new requirement for the pending solicitation for the Joint Regional Security Stacks, according to the FCW report.

The JRSS is a collection of servers, switches and software tools meant to give DOD network operators a clearer view of network traffic.

Halvorsen said he wants the software to include the ability to use big data analytics to harvest security insights, including data that is not intuitively security-related. “We’ll be able to ask industry to do … certain things that I think we would not have been able to ask them before the trip, because we now see that it’s capable,” Halversen told FCW Staff Writer Sean Lyngaas.

DISA expects to release a request for quotes in late July or early August.

Another IT capability Halvorsen saw in Silicon Valley is statistical modeling, which is evolving so that even more data can be used to perform more accurate simulations, including using political and policy factors.

To me, this is a great example of how the government can learn and incorporate new ideas and technologies, particularly from companies that might otherwise not enter the government market.

And the fact is that most Silicon Valley companies won't enter the government market on their own, but they might make great partners.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jul 02, 2015 at 8:15 AM


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