Some vendors at the ready

Integration executives say they have a head start on homeland security.

A number of them cite two key events for the early jump: the publication of Presidential Decision Directive 63 in 1998 and the creation of the Gilmore Commission a year later.

PDD 63 kicked off a national critical infrastructure protection initiative, while the congressionally chartered Gilmore Commission was created to assess the nation's capabilities for responding to terrorism.

“We started on homeland security and critical infrastructure protection long before the events of Sept. 11,” said Renny DiPentima, president of consulting and systems integration at SRA International Inc. Indeed, SRA has a 2-year-old business unit that focuses on the spectrum of government planning, information assurance and vulnerability assessment. That group, DiPentima said, had 93 percent revenue growth in 2000 and is looking at more than 50 percent growth this year.

Similarly, NCI Information Systems Inc., a McLean, Va., information technology services firm, has been active in information assurance for some time. For example, the company has been offering network security services through its 2-year-old enterprise management center and now is expanding its remote monitoring services to include non-IT devices such as heating and cooling systems, said Jay McCargo, executive vice president of sales and marketing at NCI.

Electronic Data Systems Corp. has been operating a security services organization, which it recently bolstered. The company hired Al Decker and Rebecca Whitener, the principals of security consulting firm Fiderus and founders of IBM Global Services' security practice. The executives, who direct EDS' global security and privacy business, joined the company Aug. 1.

“Security can no longer be looked at as an afterthought or a point solution,” Decker said. He and his integration peers believe they have the experience to firm up the government's security footing.

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