Department of Homeland Security to Spend $40 Million for Ideas to Improve Federal Cyber Security

Agency seeks research and development proposals in 14 technical areas to improve cyber security in Federal networks and the Internet.

February 4, 2011

D.H. Kass

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that it could invest some $40 million for new ideas to bolster cyber security in 14 technical areas impacting both Federal networks and the Internet, according to a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) the department issued last week.

The DHS is soliciting research and development proposals in software assurance, enterprise level security metrics, usable security, insider threats, secure, resilient systems and networks, modeling of internet attacks, network mapping and measurement, incident response communities, cyber economics, digital provenance, hardware enabled trust, moving target defense, nature inspired cyber health, and software assurance marketplace, according to the BAA.

Ultimately, the agency wants to develop and test, in operational environments, new, prototype and mature technologies that can protect the Internet and the country’s critical infrastructures such as the power grid and communications systems that rely on computers to operate.

No formal request for proposal (RFP) will be issued. The agency initially is requesting white papers, which, if deemed “of particular value,” will be followed by proposals.

“Even though these attacks have not yet had a significant impact on our Nation’s critical infrastructures, they have demonstrated that extensive vulnerabilities exist in information systems and networks, with the potential for serious damage,” the agency said in the BAA.

“The effects of a successful cyber attack might include serious consequences for major economic and industrial sectors, threats to infrastructure elements such as electric power, and disruption of the response and communications capabilities of first responders.”

The department will make one or more awards for each technical area for a full value of $40 million, according to the document. For the most part, the awards will take the form of cost reimbursement contracts, the agency said.

Each awards from proposals for new technologies will not exceed $3 million, the BAA said. Awards for proposals for prototype technologies will be confined to $2 million for each, and each award resulting from a proposal for mature technologies will be $750,000, the department said. The periods of performance range from 12 months to three years, according to documents.

TAGS: security,cyber security,Internet,Federal,Department of Homeland Security

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