Everything the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and Joint Force Headquarters – Department of Defense Information Networks (JFHQ-DODIN) do is focused on supporting warfighters and increasing their ability to accomplish the mission, said Navy Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, the dual-hatted director of DISA and commander of the JFHQ-DODIN, at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland, May 15.
She grouped the organizations’ approach into three categories: driving innovation, delivering solutions, and defending the cyber domain.
“All three have an important role in providing the warfighter the best communication and information technology services worldwide,” said Norton.
The admiral presented examples of how DISA, an agency with approximately 8,000 civilian and military personnel, is driving innovation through the research and development of assured identity, blockchain, and electromagnetic spectrum capabilities.
“Prototype devices for establishing assured identity are being developed right now. The first few will arrive this summer to assist with determining the right test parameters, and in the fall we will distribute 75 devices for testing.”
A separate prototype pilot will enable users to unlock derived credentials using continuous multi-factor authentication on mobile devices, she said.
Norton also described some of the solutions the agency is currently delivering or will soon deliver, including the Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) and Defense Enterprise Office Solution (DEOS).
“Deploying JRSS has centralized the security of the network into regional architectures instead of locally distributed architectures at each military base, post, camp, or station,” she said. “Each physical stack is composed of racks of security equipment which detect and block malicious activity.”
DEOS, the adoption of a commercial solution for unified capabilities across the DOD enterprise, will also become a DISA-provided service in the near future.
Industry partners responded to the draft request for procurement (RFP), which was open for comments through May 7, with more than 130 questions and comments.
“We appreciate and thank all participants for comments, as listening to previous feedback really drove this RFP,” said the admiral, who indicated the final RFP for the single-award, $7.8 billion indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract will be released during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018.
While DISA focuses on driving innovation and delivering solutions, JFHQ-DODIN, an organization of approximately 150 government civilians and military members, is focused on defending the cyber domain.
“The DODIN is our battlespace, and if we aren’t defending that battlespace, we could be putting others in harm’s way,” said Norton. “We must be ready to take action at a moment’s notice. […] Our role is to ensure and enable communication and information technology services, in any environment, to support a more lethal military.”
Norton said there are more than one billion defensive cyber operation events per month, and JFHQ-DODIN exercises more than 2,000 countermeasures in defense of the DODIN.
She said the work of both organizations directly supports the three lines of effort established by the secretary of defense: ensuring lethality, strengthening partnerships, and reforming the business practices of the DOD.
“We at DISA and JFHQ-DODIN are enabling all three of those lines of effort every day in the work that we do,” said Norton. “We support a global warfighter, and their missions require secure, reliable services and capabilities.”
View Norton’s complete remarks on DISA.mil.