5 Reasons Shutting Down DISA Would Be a Bad Idea

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, Market Intelligence Manager

Not for the first or last time, Congress this year considered getting rid of some agencies as a cost-cutting move, and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) may end up on that list. DISA provides networking and communications hardware and software for systems and services across all of the DOD. What might happen if the agency that handles military networking, computing and communications services gets the axe?

Senior leader communication support – DISA provides secure communication services to the White House and to other senior leaders. Keeping the infrastructure and its security under one roof creates operating efficiencies.

CYBERCOM could, theoretically, handle the role, but it would dilute that agency’s core mission of ensuring U.S. military cyber superiority – and force considerable reorganization to do so.

Spectrum management – Managing the electromagnetic spectrum is crucial to the security of communication, navigation and warfighting. That’s part of DISA’s job for the DOD, and it’s more important than ever with the networking of our ground, sea and aviation military assets. It would be a coordination nightmare to make service branches and military agencies share risk assessment and vulnerability information in their warfighting communications.

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DOD has a new CIO—Here’s what he needs to know

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, DOD manager

The Department of Defense recently announced its new chief information officer, Dana Deasy, who already has a tall order to fill.

When Deasy formally takes over in May he will have three main priorities as it relates to cyber: cloud and cloud security, overseeing U.S. Cyber Command’s (CYBERCOM) promotion to a Unified Combatant Command and upgrading the DOD cyber workforce.

The private sector cyber community could have a key role to play here. But first, here’s what you need to know about what faces Deasy:

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What you need to know about changes at DOD

Stephanie MeloniDepartment of Defense

By Stephanie Meloni, consultant, and Mark Wisinger, senior analyst

The Department of Defense and military services have been making strides to ensure DOD can modernize its capabilities across domains and stay ahead of threats. Facing budget shortfalls for the past few years has raised concerns about adversaries catching up to the U.S. With the DOD’s requested budget increase for the coming years, it will be looking to technology to restore readiness shortfalls and maintain the military edge.

Here are some of the major changes technology companies will want to be aware of in 2018:

CYBERCOM’s elevation to full command status

Expect CYBERCOM to officially become a Combatant Command by the end of October 2018, which will coincide with it reaching full operating capability. This also speaks to the ever-increasing emphasis on cyber as a warfighting domain, and one of its major focus areas will be automating cyber defense.

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When will CYBERCOM Split from NSA?

As soon as Congress passed the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the clock began to tick on CYBERCOM’s elevation to a fully-fledged combatant command.

The NDAA included a clause that mandated CYBERCOM’s elevation to full COCOM status, although there are a few provisions that give us a clue as to when that may occur. Before CYBERCOM can be formally split from Strategic Command, it must reach full operating capability and Congress must approve of CYBERCOM’s readiness.

So what does that mean for the IT industry? With CYBERCOM’s rising and sizeable budget, there’s a lot of opportunity for cybersecurity vendors. But first it’s important to understand what needs to happen for CYBERCOM to split from STRATCOM.

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Change is coming to the intelligence community

mark-wisinger_65x85ic_013117By Mark Wisinger, senior analyst

Before President Trump entered office, there was widespread speculation on how he would change the intelligence community. Incoming administrations typically lean on intel agencies to get up to speed on security issues, yet this election cycle featured President Trump’s open criticism of the three letter agencies.

It’s safe to assume there will be a few changes in this space. Much of the tension and debate is beyond the scope of this blog, but I’ll break down two significant changes I’m predicting will shake things up for IT procurement.

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The Rundown on DOD’s Cyber, Cloud, and Big Data Priorities Part II

Lloyd McCoy Jr.by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

Last week I went over some of the latest
The Rundown on DOD’s Cyber, Cloud, and Big Data Priorities 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

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The Rundown on DOD’s Cyber, Cloud, and Big Data Priorities

Lloyd McCoy Jr.by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

I recently The Rundown on DOD’s Cyber, Cloud, and Big Data Priorities attended a multi-day AFCEA event highlighting the latest cybersecurity initiatives within the Department of Defense, primarily the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM). While the conference was mostly focused on cybersecurity, government speakers also spoke openly about what they’re doing in the areas of cloud and big data and analytics. Additionally, this event served as one of the last industry engagements for the Director of DISA, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, who will be replaced by Deputy Director, Alan Lynn in late July.

Below I’ve highlighted areas where DISA and CYBERCOM are looking to expand their capabilities in cybersecurity and cloud.

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