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EIS solicitations need a second look, officials say

The coronavirus pandemic has intensified agencies’ awareness of their need not only to modernize information technology, but also to modify their solicitations under the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract, acquisition officials say. In mid-March, the General Services Administration‘s Federal Acquisition Service began working with agencies individually to determine what end-user devices they needed for telework and how telecom transitions were being affected. Laura Stanton, who is taking over as acting assistant commissioner of IT Category at FAS, says that the process has to continue. “This is a chance for the agencies to take a look and see where there might be gaps in what they were rolling out and look to expand their EIS solicitations," she says. "Agencies were in different places and were affected differently by COVID-19." Dave Nyczepir has the story.

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Cyber Command overspends on data tools, GAO says

A major initiative at U.S. Cyber Command is going to cost five times more than what military officials originally estimated, according to the Government Accountability Office. The program, a software platform called Unified Platform (UP), is meant to help forces and military services working with Cyber Command to streamline data processing, storage, queries and information-sharing to enhance overall mission effectiveness. One of the main contributing factors to the miscalculation is that the overall cost of UP was not based on any independent analysis, GAO found. “UP did not have several key elements of its business case approved at the time of program initiation, such as approved requirements, a cost estimate informed by independent analysis, or a formal schedule risk assessment,” the GAO said. Shannon Vavra has more at CyberScoop.

Navy's VRAM needs some help from COTS

The Navy is looking for commercial off-the-shelf tools for its Vulnerability Remediation Asset Manager (VRAM), a web-based repository for network configuration data. The VRAM hosts network configuration data to monitor for vulnerabilities. The Navy is still in the process of addressing the findings of a scathing cybersecurity report in March 2019. Since then, the department has elevated its CIO position in the civilian hierarchy and released IT modernization plans to address some of the open wounds left by cyber-adversaries. VRAM catalogs configurations to ensure compliance to technical directives and mitigate against known vulnerabilities. Some of the new requirements for tools include the ability to be hosted on .mil domains, the ability to parse large files and the capacity to work with other parts of the cybersecurity infrastructure. Jackson Barnett explains the RFI.


Why your security tools aren’t delivering as promised

A new study of global enterprises in 11 major industries, including government, found that despite the many security tools enterprises maintain, just over 90% of cybersecurity attacks did not generate an alert. The study also found that 53% of infiltration attacks and 68% of ransomware attacks went unnoticed. If that sounds alarming to federal CIOs and CISOs, it should be, says Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews (USAF Retired). Read more from Maj. Gen. Matthews.

SBA's brush with foreign cyber-adversaries

Amid the Small Business Administration's early struggles with its system for coronavirus relief loans, there was a bright spot: The agency's cloud cybersecurity tools quickly identified and blocked North Korean, Chinese and Russian accounts making bogus applications for loans. The agency moved to the cloud three years ago but didn't realize just how powerful its security tools were until it deployed them against foreign adversaries, says Guy Cavallo, deputy chief information officer. "We’ll make an exception if there’s an American businessperson traveling abroad," Cavallo says about the tools. "But our overseas warning, when we turned it on, went off like a Christmas tree.” More from Dave.

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