News and notes from around the federal IT community.
Faster, please: Cyber pros want to speed up CDM initiative
Federal agencies are well on their way to implementing the Department of Homeland Security's continuous diagnostics and mitigation initiative, but more than half of cybersecurity professionals surveyed by MeriTalk say the program moves too slowly.
According to the "CDM Under the Hood" survey, DHS's CDM Task Order 1 is already providing nearly $60 million worth of tools and sensors. Released in mid-March, CDM Task Order 2 is focused on the implementation of a federal-level cybersecurity dashboard.
MeriTalk said it polled 152 government cybersecurity professionals with CDM responsibilities for the study.
Since the initial CDM contract was awarded in August 2013, DHS reports that 96.7 percent met the April 30 deadline to identify information systems continuous monitoring managers and resource/skills gaps that need to be filled. DHS also reported that 87.8 percent met the May 30 deadline to deploy products to support ISCM and be in line with federal requirements.
Despite the impressive progress, however, MeriTalk found that agency security managers wanted to move even faster.
According to 58 percent of the managers polled, CDM program phases are rolling out too slowly, while 51 percent said the task orders were not being processed fast enough to support deployment of Phase 1 solutions.
Additionally, the study said that although CDM goals require assessment cycles to fall to less than 72 hours, 90 percent of security managers said information should be refreshed within one day.
State OKs international cloud sans export license
The State Department has ruled that cloud-security firm Perspecsys can process data via the cloud outside the United States without an export license, the firm announced June 4.
The State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls deemed that the International Traffic in Arms Regulations allow tokenized technical data to be sent to servers outside the U.S., the firm said. The ruling opens the cloud to companies subject to ITAR restrictions.
"We took the initiative to approach DDTC with the proposition that Perspecsys' tokenization cloud solution would satisfy ITAR requirements," CEO David Canellos said in a statement. With tokenization security, data stays in the owner's network, providing another level of security beyond encryption.
The Perspecsys announcement included an endorsement from former White House national security adviser Richard Clarke, who praised the firm, which has offices in Tysons Corner, Va., for developing "a way to put ITAR data in the cloud securely through, which will make life much easier for the defense industry."
Air Force awards deal for Space Fence to track orbital debris
The Air Force has awarded a $914.7 million contract to Lockheed Martin to build its Space Fence program, an attempt to avoid collisions in space by more accurately tracking small bits of space junk orbiting the Earth, Defense Systems reports.
The contract awards Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training $415 million immediately for research, development, test and evaluation performed in fiscal 2013 and 2014, and will pay out the rest over a 52-month period, with a goal of reaching operational capability in late 2018.
DARPA challenge offers millions for better cyber defense
In an effort to speed the development of automated security systems to rapidly respond to cyberattacks, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is pitting 35 teams against each other in a tournament to be held in 2016. DARPA unveiled on June 3 the first group of 35 teams that will be competing: $2 million for the winner, $1 million for second place and $750,000 for third. See the story in Defense Systems for more on DARPA's Cyber Grand Challenge.
Arlington Cemetery updates mobile app
Arlington National Cemetery has issued an updated version of its ANC Explorer app, which helps visitors locate specific graves and monuments. The 2.0 version also lets users search for burial records, and offers mini-bios for some of the more famous people interred at the hallowed grounds, according to an ANC blog post.
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