GSA outlines FIDNet needs

The General Services Administration this week started working with vendors

on a system the Clinton administration envisions will protect federal agencies

against network intrusion.

As designated in the president's National Plan for Information Systems Protection,

the Federal Intrusion Detection Network (FIDNet) will coordinate the analysis

of cyberattack information across all civilian agencies.

The FIDNet program team on Wednesday brought together top vendors in the

intrusion detection market to explain what the program needs from industry.

GSA will release a draft request for proposal by the end of May for vendors

to comment on, and the final RFP will come out in October, when fiscal 2001

funding for FIDNet is due from Congress.

FIDNet is intended to provide real-time information analysis and distribution,

but that cannot be done with current technology. Each agency has systems

from different vendors, and none of the systems can work with information

collected from other vendors' sensors.

This has not yet been a problem, but FIDNet is based on the idea of a program

office being able to read and analyze information from intrusion detection

sensors that agencies have placed throughout their networks, said Darwyn

Banks, program manager for FIDNet.

"I can't go forward without this assumption being valid," Banks said.

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