The Defense Department is putting in place the infrastructure and tools necessary to achieve its cyber protection goals and objectives. Here’s what is on the horizon.
U.S. defense officials are insisting that by reorganizing their cybersecurity strategy to give new powers to the director of the National Security Agency, they are not attempting a power grab. The military will continue to focus on protecting its own networks, they said, rather than expanding the military’s role to protecting civilian-run electrical and transportation networks.
Still, the changes the Pentagon has announced for the next 16 months will be significant. The heightened role of the NSA will be reflected in a fourth star. From now on, the NSA director will be either a four-star admiral or general, and this person will lead a new U.S. Cyber Command, dubbed CyberCom, wrote Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a June 23 memo to military leaders.
(The following is excerpted from an interview I recently did for Defense Systems magazine)
With John Garing’s elevation from Defense Information Systems Agency chief information officer to director of strategic planning, Bobbie Stempfley has stepped into the CIO role. While Garing focuses on long-term strategy and developing program objectives within DISA’s budget, Stempfley has taken on what she calls the more finely defined role of managing the agency’s ongoing information technology operations. Defense Systems contributing editor Sean Gallagher spoke with Stempfley about her role at DISA and the top challenges she faces.
DS: How has the CIO role at DISA changed since you took over for Mr. Garing?
Stempfley: He’s been given a great opportunity to be an even more significant part of the agency’s leadership team. Influencing strategies for how to help in this time of receding budgets and increasing mission demand — it’s a really a great opportunity for a service provider. And John Garing has to be a part of helping us do that. So the role of the CIO is just more finely defined now than it was before. The strategic planning and the out year [program objective memorandum] development activity are where Mr. Garing is focusing, and are things he’ll be able to do. I’ll be focused on how the information and the technology support those activities. We still work very closely together, and we will continue to work closely together. But you can never lose sight of either problem.
For the full article, see DISA aims for smooth operations across business lines — Defense Systems.
DISA to deploy new command-control software suite
By Sean Gallagher
Sep 02, 2009
The Defense Information Systems Agency has cleared the last hurdle for full deployment of Global Command and Control System–Joint (GCCS-J) Block V, the last planned version of the suite of software that gives the national leadership and joint commanders tools to analyze situations and direct military units in the field.
Cheryl Roby, acting assistant secretary of Defense for networks and information integration, signed off on Status of Resources and Training System (SORTS) Version 4.2 Aug. 28, completing the development and testing program for GCCS-J. The other two elements of Block V — the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES) 4.2 and Global 4.2 — had already been approved for deployment, and DISA’s GCCS team has begun deployment to the 53 sites worldwide where GCCS-J is used.
Block V is a departure from previous versions of the GCCS platform in that it relies heavily on commercial software for much of its architecture. It replaces the Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) Common Operating Environment (COE) used by previous versions of GCCS-J. The system relies on software from Oracle, including the BEA application server, and Java, and it also supports integration with other commercial software, including Google Maps support.
“The move to Block V has marked the movement away from the DII COE,” said Kim Rice, deputy program manager for GCCS-J. “We’re no longer doing segmented-software releases, which means…we’re able to get [enhancements] out to the field much faster than we were able to before.”
See the full story at : DISA to deploy new command-control software suite — Government Computer News.
Update [7/22] I spoke with DISA’s Rob Vietmeyer yesterday. FORGE.mil currently consists of a collaborative software development site; it’s open to use by all of DOD and contractors with NIPRNet (and now SIPRNet) access to create applications that can be openly shared within DOD. The impetus for creating a classified net version of FORGE.mil came from STRATCOM and the Army–STRATCOM has already moved a project onto FORGE on SIPRNet.
Currently, the Navy is hosting the FORGE platform. By October, Vietmeyer said DISA will release a version running on RACE, DISA’s cloud computing platform, hosted out of DISA’s Defense Enterprise Computing Centers (DECCs). That will turn FORGE into a cloud application, distributed across multiple sites.
FORGE could potentially provide a platform for the services to create software repositories for government-owned and open-source code. The Navy currently is creating its own repository, called SHARE; SHARE is on SIPRNet because it contains code for C4ISR systems and other combat systems. THe move of FORGE onto SIPR means that it could conceivably become the platform to support SHARE. Vietmeyer says he’s been having regular conversations with the SHARE team, which is trying to create a taxonomy for all of the code in the Navy inventory–something that could be extremely useful for the other services if it gets ported over to a common platform.
The development projects on the SIPR side of FORGE either use classified algorithms that are restricted to government use but are shareable within DOD, or are continuations of unclassified open and community source projects that need access to classified data. A large percentage of them, Vietmeyer says, are C4ISR related. Based on STRATCOM’s recent elevation of cyberwarfare as a mission, it’s possible that development of cyber command and control applications is one of the projects that made STRATCOM eager to have a SIPR version of FORGE.mil.
While FORGE.mil is free right now, and for shared projects only, the upcoming ProjectForge capability will allow DISA customers to pay for a private portal for collaborative software development within the Global Information Grid, advancing DISA’s goal to become a cloud service provider for DOD and related agencies and organizations.
From DISA, release on 7/20:
FORGE.MIL NOW READY FOR CLASSIFIED PROJECTS
Arlington, Va. – The Defense Department’s newest collaborative software development tool is now available for use in a classified development environment. The Defense Information Systems Agency granted Forge.mil Interim Authority to Operate on SIPRNet, the DoD’s classified version of the civilian Internet.
“This was a remaining crucial capability to offer our DoD development community,” said Rob Vietmeyer, Forge.mil Project Director. “With 2200 users, 500 contributors with engaged development and 93 projects on Forge.mil, we’ll now be able to offer even more with this IATO for classified use up to SECRET,” he added.
Forge.mil enables collaborative software development and cross-program sharing of software, system components, and services in support of net-centric operations and warfare. Already in Initial Operational Capability for unclassified use, Forge.mil is a collaborative environment for shared development of open source and DoD community source software. DISA expects four more components of Forge.mil to be launched in future releases: CertificationForge, which will support agile certification; ProjectForge, which will provide private project portals; StandardsForge, which will drive collaborative standards development; and TestForge, which will provide on-demand software testing tools.
Forge.mil is available to the U.S. military, DoD government civilians, and DoD contractors for new and existing projects, enabling the organizations to save money, to improve software development efficiency, and to drive collaborative dynamics that help deliver better software faster to the warfighter. To register or host a project on Forge.mil, visit http://www.disa.mil/forge for more information.
DISA, a Combat Support Agency, engineers and provides command and control capabilities and enterprise infrastructure to continuously operate and assure a global net-centric enterprise in direct support to joint warfighters, National level leaders, and other mission and coalition partners across the full spectrum of operations.