The Rundown on DOD’s Cyber, Cloud, and Big Data Priorities Part II
June 30, 2015 Leave a comment
by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant
Last week I went over some of the latest cybersecurity and cloud initiatives out of DOD’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), from a recent AFCEA event I attended. While the event was focused primarily on how each department is aiming to expand their cyber and cloud capabilities, leveraging big data and analytics was a topic of discussion as well. On that note, I’d like to share with you DOD’s big data and analytics top priorities that came straight from program managers.
Below I’ve highlighted areas where DISA and CYBERCOM are looking to expand their capabilities in Big Data and Analytics
Harnessing Big Data and Analytics
Program managers out of DISA’s Cyber Situational Awareness Division discussed the latest developments in their big data and analytics platform: CSAAC/RDK. In case you didn’t know, the acronyms stand for Cybersecurity Situational Awareness Analytical Cloud and Rapid Deployment Kit. CSAAC/RDK are DISA-developed capabilities designed for ingesting, storing, and visualizing large data sets for our military services.
Opportunities in this program would be for audit management, insider threat detection, and continuous monitoring tools/solutions. The analytics-related priorities expressed by DISA’s program managers are:
- Ensuring solutions can be shared without making major changes in the architecture
- Verifying your tools can integrate easily in the architecture without major changes
- Reducing redundancies by evaluating what solutions are already in the DOD environment
- Understanding open source may not necessarily be generating cost savings
Future efforts include integrating CSAAC/RDK with the intelligence community and the Navy’s tactical cloud. The DISA managers present also said they are looking to work with industry on developing common APIs, data schemas, and data standards to enhance interoperability with the rest of DOD and the intelligence community.
The one thing to remember for IT vendors selling into DISA, CYBERCOM, and the rest of the Department is program managers are shifting from talking about “requirements” to talking about “capabilities.” Some can argue this is just semantics, but it really speaks to the Department’s focus on IT as an enabler of its core missions. Another thing to consider is DISA and the rest of the Department are always prioritizing IT needs so they need industry support to ensure products they buy are being used to the fullest. Additionally, DOD agencies are looking to partner with industry on better technology refresh strategies that enable the government to smooth out costs. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, DOD wants to avoid “add-on” security. Having a security-first mindset, no matter the solution, is what they’re looking for from industry partners.
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