DHS awards $60 million in cyber awards

Friday - 1/17/2014, 2:44pm EST

Four companies are first out of the gate to provide cybersecurity products under the continuous diagnostics and mitigation (CDM) contract.

The General Services Administration, on behalf of the Homeland Security Department, awarded $60.4 million worth of contracts to Technica Corp., Knowledge Consulting Group, HP Enterprise Services and Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. under a lowest-price, technically acceptable approach.

DHS says 33 agencies will receive endpoint asset management and software assurance tools. The agency would not identify which of the 33 would be first on the list to receive the cyber apps.

"We are committed to deploying CDM tools and services as quickly as and efficiently as possible," DHS stated in the FAQ document sent to Federal News Radio. "We are particularly pleased to report that strategic sourcing resulted in an average 30 percent reduction off GSA Schedule 70 pricing for the commodities purchased today, for a budget avoidance of up to $18 million. This award will allow federal departments and agencies to gain more comprehensive situational awareness into their cybersecurity risk posture and begin to mitigate the most significant risks first."

GSA issued the request for quote Nov. 13 to the 17 vendors on the CDM multiple award contract.

DHS is leading the effort to help agencies meet the Office of Management and Budget's 2017 deadline to implement dynamic, proactive cybersecurity.

GSA and DHS are working on another award in the coming months for a continuous monitoring dashboard tool.

"It's great to see DHS moving swiftly to get this first phase of a major government cybersecurity program underway," said Ken Kartsen, vice president, McAfee Federal, who is a subcontractor to the Knowledge Consulting Group under this program. "CDM will create efficiencies, cost-savings and ultimately a higher level of cybersecurity for civilian agencies — and any other entities that choose to use it. One of the best features of CDM is that it's an iterative process, which makes good sense. Government agencies shouldn't be expected to leap from A to Z immediately. With CDM, they can move progressively through thoughtfully designed steps to achieve a high level security posture. This is an important change from the past, under FISMA and the report card model."

This story is part of Jason Miller's Inside the Reporter's Notebook feature. Read more from this week's edition.