03:48 PM

CSC Awarded $30 Million Air Force Cybersecurity Contract

The contractor will oversee managed network intrusion detection and prevention systems on both classified and unclassified Defense Department networks.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
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Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters

The Air Force has tapped CSC to provide additional cybersecurity services for Department of Defense (DoD) classified and unclassified networks through a multimillion-dollar contract unveiled Tuesday.

The award to provide services for the 33rd Network Warfare Squadron (NWS) has a one-year base and two one-year options, which, if exercised, could value $30 million, according to CSC.

Under the terms of the deal, CSC will provide a range of security services for the Air Force Computer Emergency Response team, which supports the 33rd NWS with year-round, 24-7 defense and monitoring of the Air Force and U.S. Central Command. CSC already has been supporting the team with cybersecurity services -- including vulnerability analysis and penetration testing, data loss prevention services, and managed security services -- for 12 years.

Specific tasks CSC will perform under the new contract include the protection and containment of any intrusion on Air Force networks, the company said. It also will plan, coordinate, analyze, and report on the results of managed network intrusion detection and prevention systems.

The contract also calls for CSC to help the Air Force expand, operate, and defend the part of the DoD network it operates, as well as provide security support for the joint warfighter program. CSC will perform the work at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

The 33rd NWS provides network defense expertise and support to the Air Force Network Operations Commander, 624th Air Force Network Operations Center, Headquarters Air Forces Central, and various Air Force field units.

In addition to providing a range of cybersecurity services for both public and private-sector customers, CSC also operates Common Criteria Test Laboratories in the United States, Europe, and Asia, as well as global Security Operations Centers.

Cybersecurity is a chief area of concern across the federal government, with agencies and departments all investing heavily in the area. DoD entities and intelligence agencies in particular have been making strategic investments in security, given the sensitive nature of the information traveling over their networks.

In August, the FBI awarded ManTech a nearly $100 million contract for cybersecurity outsourcing, and a month later awarded a $40 million contract award to BAE for similar services.

The Obama administration's $3.8 trillion budget for fiscal 2011 calls for increased investment in cybersecurity, although the White House has not divulged exactly how much and where that investment will go.

A report by Input released in December predicts that federal investment in cybersecurity will reach $13.3 billion by 2015, driven by a 445% increase in security incidents over the last four years and the shortage of qualified security professionals.

Indeed, the Air Force itself experienced a taste of the latter this summer, when it had to employ a special streamlined hiring authority to help it quickly fill 700 vacant cybersecurity positions.

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