CDM acquisition gets simpler


The General Services Administration is making cybersecurity services simpler for federal acquisition professionals to order via a special item number on the Schedule 70 IT acquisition vehicle.

The SIN consolidates and categorizes product offerings under the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program into product families that make them easier to find in the thousands of offerings on the schedule. Roughly 30,000 different tools -- approximately half of the full CDM approved products list -- are available via the SIN, Larry Hale, director of the IT security subcategory for GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, said on the sidelines of an FCW industry event. Those products contract currently are offered via eight systems integrators, Hale said, noting that he is eager to add more contractors.

Hale also announced that the Department of Homeland Security, which manages the CDM program, is about to begin accepting requests to add new tools to the approved product list. The submission period is quite short -- May 28 through June 1 -- and includes Memorial Day, a federal holiday. "You really only have four days to get this phase of submissions in," Hale told interested contractors.

GSA is pushing to add more resellers and vendors to the CDM SIN, as well as expand its use beyond federal agencies to include state, local and municipal governments. Election security could be a particular area of emphasis, he said.

The push to expand the SIN to facilitate CDM adoption is part of an ongoing effort by GSA and DHS to provide greater flexibility in the cybersecurity program's next phases.

While CDM's first two phases have stressed standard-issue solutions, agencies will have more say in scoping the services the want for phases 3 and 4, said Kevin Cox, DHS's CDM program manager.

"It may not be a rip and replace," said Cox, who also spoke at the FCW conference. If an agency has tools in place that meet the CDM program's requirements and the data on that solution is accessible to the program, he explained, an agency could keep that solution. "We're not coming in and saying 'use this solution,'" he said. "We're looking to be more flexible."

DHS and GSA began the more-flexible approach in deciding last summer to channel the next wave of the program through the Alliant and (eventually) Alliant 2 governmentwide acquisition contracts, along with the Schedule 70 SIN.

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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