$1.5B DOD security deal in the works
- By Dan Verton
- Mar 05, 2000
The Defense Department this week plans to launch a $1.5 billion procurement
for a wide range of information security services, including new efforts
to defend critical DOD networks against the kind of attacks that recently
locked up Yahoo, Amazon.com and other popular Web sites.
The Information Assurance Capabilities contract, managed through a Defense
Information Systems Agency and National Security Agency joint program office,
will replace contracts awarded in 1995 to Computer Sciences Corp., Science
Applications International Corp. and Merdan Group Inc.
Although the new contract focuses on off-the-shelf security products
and services, DOD also aims to use the contract to integrate its major networks
and ensure that those networks remain secure and available around-the-clock.
"What we are really concerned about is the protection of the network
from denial-of-service attacks," said Peter Paulson, chief of the Networks
Division at DISA, speaking at the Federal Telecommunications Conference
Senior DISA officials also have told industry that the contract's task
areas, including a classified portion known as Task Area 5, "place a great
deal of emphasis on network-based intrusion detection and recovery techniques
Despite increased interest in denial-of-service attacks, not everyone
is convinced that the contract will be used to its full potential. The $2
billion Infosec Technical Services deal, which this contract will replace,
fizzled in 1996 after only about $6 million in business.
At the time, officials blamed the contract's poor performance on lack
of security funding and agencies' lack of commitment to security.
But that may be changing.
In a March 3 executive memorandum, the Clinton administration directed
all agency and department heads to seek assistance from contractors with
expertise in denial-of-service attacks. The administration also plans to
enforce new governmentwide security policies as early as next year (see