Networx contractors strengthening cybersecurity with new standards

Friday - 2/3/2012, 10:52am EST

Jeff Mohan, executive director of GSA programs for AT&T

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By Sean McCalley
Federal News Radio

Agencies are increasingly relying upon Networx contract providers to reduce their Internet connections and strengthen network security.

Many still struggle to implement the Trusted Internet Connections system mandated by the White House four years ago. TICs minimize the amount of public Internet connections and identify cyber threats. Networx contract providers are helping agencies transition to the new system, but budget limitations and time management are slowing the integration.

Jeff Mohan, executive director of GSA programs for AT&T, joined The Federal Drive with Tom Temin Friday, to share his insights on the impact of Networx contractors to cybersecurity.

"What we've been surprised with is the relatively slow uptake on the services," Mohan said. "Of course there are budget pressures, and TIC is not an inexpensive thing. ... It's another connection that an agency must construct and manage or purchase from someone like us."

However, agencies are making strides towards limiting online connections and closing gateways to cyber threats. According to Mohan, the mandate has led to a "substantial" decrease in the number of connections to the internet — and increasing opportunities for companies like AT&T to provide government services.

"Right now we've got somewhere between 15 to 20 agencies up and operational, or will be up and operational by the end of February," Mohan said.

Data from TIC monitoring is also being shared with the Department of Homeland Security's Cyberscope system.

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