The Return of Space Command – the Space Force for Now

By Mark Wisinger, senior analyst

Space Force? Not exactly. The new FY19 NDAA features the requirement to re-establish Space Command – which is high-priority focus area for department policy makers in FY19.

DOD policy makers like John Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, have been developing a plan to meet the Congressional mandate to re-establish US Space Command, which was originally de-established back in 2002. In the short term, we are likely to see Space Command spun out of STRATCOM as a subordinate command, considering Space Command was originally folded into STRATCOM back in 2002. It’ll primarily be staffed with Air Force Personnel as it is stood up, sourcing from STRATCOM and Air Force Space Command.

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Key Highlights From the FY19 Cybersecurity Budget

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, Market Intelligence Manager

The newly minted FY19 budget stands out because the federal government passed it on time and for the first time in nine years, government agencies begin the new year equipped to fund new and ongoing IT investments. In what is welcome, albeit not surprising news for security providers, cybersecurity remains the highest priority in the IT budget.

When it comes to security-specific spending, all signs point to the recently passed budget largely aligning to the initial agency wish lists.

Below are some of the key takeaways to help you map out your targeting strategy. Note that these figures don’t wholly encompass security spending as a substantial (though unknown) level of security spending isn’t formally recognized as such.

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Yes, the Public Sector Is Embracing IoT!

By Tim Larkins, director, market intelligence

Most analysts agree that by 2021, over 20 billion Internet-connected devices worldwide will make up a market for the Internet of Things (IoT) worth over $2.5 trillion. That means a huge market opportunity for vendors providing technology at every point — from the user device to the platform itself.

In a nutshell, IoT allows devices to link and exchange data. It’s not a discrete technology like business applications or infrastructure or even cybersecurity. It’s more like a wrapper around all other technologies and is comprised of five major elements:

  • The Edge: The devices, nodes and sensors actually collecting data
  • The Gateway: Either a physical device or software that allows data to flow from the edge to the platform
  • The IoT Platform: The operating environment, storage, computing power and development tools that receive data from the gateway
  • Software Applications: Programs that let users solve business problems, working with data stored in the IoT platform
  • Cybersecurity: The tools that protect all the nodes/sensors/devices at the edge and data transmitted through the gateway, platform, all the way to the user

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New DOE Office to Focus on Cyber Threats to Energy Sector

Tom O'Keefe

By Tom O’Keefe, consultant

Facing mounting cybersecurity challenges, the Department of Energy recently created a new office, the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). Karen Evans, a long-term fixture in cybersecurity in the federal government, was confirmed to lead the office on September 4, 2018. Dedicated to shoring up the cybersecurity of the U.S. energy grid, as well as protecting its own IT assets, the formation of CESER yet again demonstrates the government’s focus on protecting critical infrastructure from foreign attacks.

There are opportunities for industry within CESER, although it’s not your typical cyber play, like protecting against malware and viruses; it’s more about threat intelligence, information sharing and cyber situational awareness. Read more of this post

National Cyber Strategy – What Does It Mean for Those Selling Security Tools to the Government?

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, Market Intelligence Manager

You’ve probably heard of the release last week of both the National Cyber Strategy and the Department of Defense (DOD) Cyber Strategy. Some of the priorities highlighted are robust information sharing, greater resilience, encryption, cyber scalability and hardening of IT systems. In fact, we’ve seen demand for these capabilities reflected in recent cyber budgets which have hovered between $13 and$15 billion over the last couple of years. While the documents bring together much of the cyber policies heard from the administration over the past year, there are some important key takeaways you should be aware of as we head into FY19.

Offensive Cyber
One of the most notable developments is a more overt embrace of offensive cyber operations. The DOD Cyber Strategy especially, hones in on this “defending forward” strategy, where the U.S. will confront threats before they reach U.S. networks.

By giving the government more latitude to conduct proactive and offensive cybersecurity, we could see more funding and resources allocated to these operations as early as next year. Expect more demand for network mapping and reconnaissance, data extraction, firewall tunneling and encryption/decryption tools, just to name a few. I expect most of the funding and demand for offensive cyber tools will be generally confined to U.S. Cyber Command and the intelligence agencies.

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Time to Start a New Conversation About AI in Government

Lloyd McCoy Jr.

By Lloyd McCoy, Marketing Intelligence Manager

Artificial Intelligence is becoming a topic of real interest to federal and SLED governments. Companies that sell storage solutions, automation, big data, security and data mining tools should be encouraged to start a new conversation with their clients and prospects. Here are some of the drivers behind AI in government.

Dramatic cost savings
According to Deloitte, low-investment AI could improve human task speeds up to 20 percent. That would save 96.7 million human hours annually in government. A high investment in AI could save well over one billion human hours per year.

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OTAs Are Heating Up in the DOD

Mark Wisinger_100x135By Mark Wisinger, senior analyst

Every program manager and acquisition professional in DOD has been leveraging the newest buzzword: OTA, which stands for Other Transaction Authority. OTAs have been in the acquisition arsenal for years, but Congress just recently relaxed rules and restrictions on their use, paving the way for OTAs to be the new hot method for rapid technology insertion and piloting. The Office of the Undersecretary of Acquisition and Sustainment recently has been working on an OTA handbook to help guide DOD acquisition professionals on the do’s and don’ts of this newly revitalized procurement method. It’s no surprise we’re starting to see the use of more and more OTAs.

According to Bloomberg Government, DOD accounted for $2.1B of $2.3B spent through OTAs in 2017. The Army has been a leader in DOD driving most of the OTA usage increases to date, concentrated in the Army Materiel Command, although the Army Cyber Command’s use of OTAs is growing. The Defensive Cyber Operations office, within Army’s PEO EIS is setting up a new OTA vehicle known as C-RAPID, which will be targeting rapid piloting and insertion of defensive cyber tools. Companies that sign on to the consortium will field between 6 and 24 Army technology requests a year for defensive cyber tools.

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