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2/23/2010
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Navy Soliciting Cybersecurity Bids

The Office of Naval Research plans to spend $16 million through 2015 to protect its data and secure operations in the event of a cyberattack.

The U.S. Navy is seeking proposals for security technologies to build a prototype system that would ensuring cyber operations aren't shut down in the event of a cyber war.

The Navy plans to spend $16 million through 2015 on the project, according to a notice on the Office of Naval Research Web site.

The notice calls for proposals for a "pro-active cyber network defense and information assurance" solution that can be adapted and integrated into an "advanced prototype."

The prototype "will ensure maximum continuity of cyber operations and availability of national assets and data during cyber conflict," according to the notice.

The Navy also hopes to use the prototype to develop new technologies to protect all data coming and going through the Department of the Navy (DON) networks.

Specifically, the Navy is interested in algorithms for the detection of malware that extend beyond conventional anti-virus detection algorithms, and techniques that discover malware entry points.

Other technologies of interest include: algorithms that can distinguish legitimate network traffic communications from malicious communications; data-mining methods and algorithms for correlating and fusing large-scale complex data sets; security-enabled protocols that ensure proper network functionality during cyber attacks; and protocols that provide network-based configuration and control of security components.

Additionally, proposals are welcome on techniques to map and track the activity of networks and be able to use that information to geo-locate the sources and target of suspicious activity.

The Navy plans to award up to five, and companies have until May 21 to submit proposals.

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

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Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

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