Johnson: DHS makes good on CDM promise

Shutterstock image (by MaximP): network defense.

(MaximP / Shutterstock)

Looking to make good on a July promise to offer continuous diagnostics and mitigation services available to 97 percent of the federal civilian workforce, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said DHS had cut three contracts with vendors expanding the services to 17 additional federal civilian agencies.

The awards mark the third, fourth and fifth (of six) awards under the continuous monitoring as a service (CMaaS) blanket purchase agreement providing continuous diagnostic tools and integration services.

The contracts, which total almost $140 million, were made through the General Services Administration and, according to Johnson, expand CDM to cover the promised 97 percent of civilian agencies.

According to a GSA spokesperson, the agency awarded CDM Task Order 2 Group C to Northrop Grumman on Sept. 8 for a total evaluated amount of $32,537,043. On Aug. 31, the agency awarded CDM Task Order 2 Group D to Booz Allen Hamilton for a total evaluated amount of $82,932,104.00. Also on Aug. 31, GSA awarded CDM Task Order 2 Group E to HP Enterprise Services for a total evaluated amount of $21,659,968.

DHS’s CDM deployment is divided into three phases. The first phase, being deployed currently, checks to ensure that all computers and software on agency networks are secure. The second phase will monitor users on agencies’ networks and ensure they are not engaging in unauthorized activity. The third phase will assess activity happening inside agencies’ networks to identify anomalies and alert security personnel.

Johnson said in a July speech that the first phase of CDM, available to eight agencies then, covered more than 50 percent of the federal civilian government. He said then  that he expected DHS to make phase one available to 97 percent of the federal civilian workforce by the end of fiscal 2015.

In the July speech, Johnson also said he had requested congressional authorization to speed up CDM phase two.

The CDM program is part of the department’s effort to provide a common baseline for cybersecurity across federal civilian agencies, while each department or agency remains responsible for its own cybersecurity. The approach addresses the most common causes of cyberattacks, including vulnerabilities or improper configurations in computers or software – which, said DHS, is one of the focuses of the Sept. 21 CDM awards.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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