TMF Board announces $94.8M for 3 network security projects

Clare Martorana. Image Credit: The White House.

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The Technology Modernization Fund Board will invest a total of $94.8 million in three projects increasing network security for critical services at separate agencies.

USDANet modernization at the U.S. Department of Agriculture will receive $64 million, a Federal Trade Commission security operations center-as-a-service $3.9 million and the Department of Homeland Security will receive $26.9 million to upgrade the Homeland Security Information Network.

The latest round of Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) investments support projects that are focused on improving network infrastructure through the adoption of zero-trust security. Tuesday’s announcement comes five days after the Office of Management and Budget and General Services Administration designated $100 million in TMF funding for customer experience projects at high-impact service providers, evidence of the TMF Board’s broad approach to addressing shared challenges governmentwide.

“This Administration is on a path to aggressively invest in defenses and shift from outdated perimeter-based defenses to a ‘zero trust’ approach that confronts our adversaries’ capabilities and intent,’ said Clare Martorana, federal chief information officer and TMF Board chair, in the announcement. “These investments will implement robust multifactor authentication, encrypt government data, quickly detect and contain adversary activity, and continuously identify and remediate vulnerabilities.”

USDA will use its $64 million to continue consolidating 17 legacy networks into a single, secure network supporting every program office and service — saving an estimated $734 million as a result.

Both the Food Safety and Inspection and Food and Nutrition services stand to benefit from the added speed and security of USDANet.

“The USDANet modernization project enables USDA to continue and build on its customer-centric IT modernization efforts that deliver better performance for a better value,” said CIO Gary Washington. “It will also increase the reliability of USDANet and act as an enabler to protecting and operating the U.S. agricultural supply chain.”

The FTC hopes that establishing a security operations center-as-a-service will better protect sensitive data against more advanced threats and improving response times to cyberattacks. The The TMF board hopes the project will serve as a blueprint for other agencies launching SOCs.

DHS will use its $26.9 million to rebuild HSIN as a cloud-native platform, which is intended to improve the security of information sharing among first responders, law enforcement, and private sector and government partners. HSIN will further provide real-time information and resource access for faster response to crises like natural disasters.

The investments mark USDA’s fifth TMF project, DHS’s second and the FTC’s first. All three agencies plan to repay the TMF by the end of fiscal 2028.

To date the TMF Board has invested more than half a billion dollars in projects, 26 of which are ongoing.

“The TMF is again making smart technology investments that will improve efficiency, boost cybersecurity and deliver better for taxpayers,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan, in a statement. “The TMF is showing that government can harness technology to make a positive impact in people’s lives, from supporting systems that help people who are food insecure to ensuring that first responders can quickly share information.”

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Clare Martorana, Cloud, Cybersecurity, Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Trade Commission, Gary Washington, General Services Administration (GSA), Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Robin Carnahan, security operations centers, Technology Modernization Fund, USDANet, zero trust
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