DISA expands portfolio of cloud-based services, security offerings

New security initiatives will help streamline accreditation process

After the move of its headquarters to a new location, the Defense Information Systems Agency is pursuing additional cloud-based services and enterprise-level security initiatives to improve support to warfighters, said the agency's CIO.

Key to the agency’s recent activities has been its move to Fort Meade, Md., under the Base Relocation And Closure Act, DISA CIO Henry Sienkiewicz said Aug. 9 at AFCEA’s Warfighter Support IT Day in Vienna, Va. He said that one of the major challenges of the move was to shift equipment and personnel while continuing to provide services to its Defense Department customers.

In the move, DISA:

  • Transferred more than 3,900 employees, military personnel and embedded contractors.
  • Moved more than $37 million worth of IT equipment.
  • Shifted more than 15,000 pieces of IT gear.
  • Deployed three production networks and 13 test networks.

The agency is now focusing on standardizing and consolidating its infrastructure as part of BRAC, he said.

Another major aspect of DISA’s recent work has been the agency’s recently released campaign plan. The plan lays out the organization’s goals and missions to support U.S. forces globally. “DISA doesn’t do IT for DISA. DISA does IT for the warfighter, and we don’t ever forget that,” Sienkiewicz said.

DISA also is working on its portfolio of cloud-based services. Among these capabilities are enterprise e-mail, which is scaling up to support 1.7 million users, he said. The agency is also working on developing new cloud applications and services. These include enterprise SharePoint and knowledge management tools for information sharing and collaboration.

The agency is continuing to develop and test standards and applications for mobile devices, Sienkiewicz said. DISA is also working on enterprise-level security, which must be a part of any system being developed, he said. DOD is very good at placing sensors at specific points in a network, but he said they don’t provide an entire picture. “We’ve got to figure out how to do this at the enterprise level,” he said.

To support enterprise-level security, Sienkiewicz said that DISA has launched initiatives such as the Host Based Security System and the Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service to help streamline the accreditation process.

About the Author

Henry Kenyon is a contributing writer for Defense Systems.

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