Air Force sets aim on outside assistance for cyber analytics program COBRA

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Braeden Pruett, 355th Communications Squadron cyber security technician, updates information assurance officer training slides at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 26, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Frankie D. Moore)

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The Air Force, through a program affectionately known as COBRA, has requested info to identify professional services in the commercial sector to aid in its cyber-operations advancement.

The COBRA Program, short for Cyber Operations-Based Rapid Analytics, looks to ingest and use the Air Force’s wealth of data for analytics in support of cyberdefense operations.

In an RFI posted Jan. 9, the service puts feelers out for commercial services to include cybersecurity engineers, cloud service engineers, administrators, and data scientists for this analytics help.

The RFI makes clear the desired taskings of the services in four major arenas:

  • Ingest data into the Air Force’s Amazon Web Services GovCloud data lake;
  • “Create, test, and implement data analytics using Defense Information Services Agency (DISA)’s Big Data Platform (BDP) software suite to support a prioritized set of 24th Air Force (24 AF) data analytics use cases;”
  • Obtain an authority to operate associate data analytics capabilities; and,
  • Train “cyber weapon system operators use the analytics.

DISA’s Big Data Platform is a common Defense Department tool that provides cybersecurity situational awareness from data ingested from the DOD Information Network. With this procurement, the Air Force says it wants to figure out how it can leverage a service-specific instance of DISA’s BDP tool for “a prioritized set of 24th Air Force (24 AF) data analytics use cases” to be used by “operators of multiple cyberspace weapon systems and other communities of interest (COIs).”

According to the RFI, “During a recent pathfinder study, 23 Data Analytics use cases supporting Defensive Cyberspace Operations (DCO) and Department of Defense Information Networks (DODIN) Operations were evaluated.” Through COBRA, the service intends to use those pathfinder use cases to inform its efforts.

Responses for the RFI are due Jan. 18.

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Air Force, Amazon Web Services (AWS), big data, COBRA, Cybersecurity, data analytics, DISA
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