DISA

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

[Updated Friday with new DISA org chart] CRYSTAL CITY: The day before Islamic radicals hijacked Central Command’s Twitter account, the Defense Information Systems Agency officially launched a major overhaul intended, among other things, to increase cybersecurity. But it doesn’t mean the office is getting bigger or getting more money: DISA’s cybersecurity office will actually get smaller. “It’ll… Keep reading →

Brig. Gen. Robert Skinner

[UPDATED with Central Command statement on Twitter/YouTube hack] CRYSTAL CITY: There’s a new cyber sheriff in town — and none too soon. When the Pentagon’s social media accounts get hacked, as they did today, it’s acutely embarrassing. When the military’s internal networks get hacked, however, it’s potentially lethal. But the Defense Department doesn’t have a single organization… Keep reading →

cybera

The clouds, they are a-changin’. The Defense Information Systems Agency may have lost its status — always controversial and contested — as gatekeeper between the rest of the Defense Department and commercial providers of cloud computing. But Pentagon CIO Terry Halvorsen‘s decision to let other defense entities acquire cloud services on their own still leaves… Keep reading →

computerscreens

WASHINGTON: Apple, Amazon, and Google long since outstripped the Pentagon in information technology. But as the military and intelligence community try to take advantage of commercial IT innovation, especially in cloud computing, they have run into harsh limits. Security, long-range bandwidth and the sheer volume of data have created problems for the Pentagon that current commercially… Keep reading →

Fort Meade

FORT MEADE, MD: “Remember the peace dividend we took in the Clinton years in the ’90s? Welcome back,” said Douglas Packard. “That’s where we’re at.” Some 20 years ago as defense budgets plummeted post-Cold War, the defense industry consolidated, recalled Packard, acting head of procurement at the Defense Information Systems Agency. Contractors better beware once more,… Keep reading →

This year, the Defense Information Systems Agency has ambitious plans to streamline and speed up how military personnel access applications and services on the Defense Department’s computer networks. These efforts include launching a new pan-service user environment, making enterprise services easier to use and access, increasing the offerings and capabilities of cloud based systems, and providing a mobile device infrastructure for the services to use.

But all of those efforts are being buffeted by the uncertainty of monumental Defense budget cuts, and increasing pressures on IT budgets in particular. Keep reading →

The Defense Department has awarded a first of its kind joint enterprise licensing agreement for Microsoft collaboration, mobility, productivity and security tools. Valued at $617 million, the three-year agreement will allow the Army, Air Force and the Defense Information Systems Agency to begin using the latest versions of the company’s products.

The agreement creates a single framework providing all three organizations with a single, standardized way to access new Microsoft technologies. The contract also supports top DOD IT goals for data center consolidation, collaboration, cybersecurity, mobility, cloud computing and big data, company officials said in a statement. Keep reading →

The National Security Agency is launching a mobile device capability at the end of this year that will allow its personnel to securely access classified information with their smartphones and tablet computers.

The program, which is a joint effort with the Defense Information Systems Agency, could potentially provide the military services with similar secure information access capabilities. Keep reading →


The Defense Information Systems Agency wants to kick down a lot of existing security boundaries so that commanders can work together efficiently without having their email, video and text messaging hung up in a thicket of contradictory security requirements. But increasing access to classified command networks calls for some tradeoffs between security and utility, Anthony Montemarano, DISA’s director for strategic planning told Breaking Defense.

To meet its goals and protect military networks, DISA, is working with Cyber Command to share information and develop tactics and policies to respond quickly to cyber attacks. The agency is also working closely with the NSA on security technologies such as encryption for mobile devices, Montemarano said. Keep reading →

The Defense Department’s release of a new mobile device strategy late last week provides a revealing snapshot of how much work lies ahead for Defense officials in rationalizing the rapid adoption of smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices across the Department. It also highlights the urgent challenge to secure the use of those devices on Defense networks – even if it fell short of describing how and when DoD planned to tackle ongoing security concerns.

The strategy document acknowledges that commercial smartphones and tablets that operate using a variety of commercial systems offer a more cost-effective solution than pursuing DoD’s traditional course of developing custom hardware and software applications. Keep reading →

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