HHS bolsters security

The Department of Health and Human Services has selected Internet Security Systems Inc. to ratchet up cybersecurity protection throughout the department's 12 divisions.

The one-year contract, with four one-year options, was awarded Oct. 2. It is part of a General Services Administration task order to ISS' partner Northrop Grumman Information Technology. It will provide round-the-clock monitoring of its production systems and scheduled vulnerability assessments for divisions across the department.

"We selected the Northrop Grumman IT and ISS solution offering because it provides the best value of managed security services required by HHS and its 12 agencies," Jim Seligman, security program manager for HHS and the chief information officer for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, said in a statement.

Steven Cooker, vice president and general manager for ISS' public sector, declined to comment on the amount of the contract but said it is a major managed services contract. He said the company is assessing each department and making recommendations about how to increase security even further.

"What HHS is doing with this contract is providing another level of security that they probably only had in bits and pieces," Cooker said. "The nature of some of the work they would do would attract potential intruders."

HHS already uses ISS' RealSecure Protection Platform to protect its network infrastructure from online threats. Northrop Grumman IT will integrate the ISS solution within each of the HHS divisions.

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