Cyber Defense

NSA accredits Lockheed Martin to help respond to cyberattacks

With cyber defense needs constantly growing, the National Security Agency has developed accreditation programs that would allow National Security Systems operators to more easily leverage the skills of private industry in the event of a cyberattack.

NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate recently awarded Lockheed Martin its Cyber Incident Response Assistance (CIRA) accreditation, making the company one of the first federally-recognized companies accredited to help organizations respond to attacks on their networks.

CIRA is a part of NSA’s National Security Cyber Assistance Program (NSCAP), which is the agency’s strategy for leveraging the cyber expertise of private industry to meet the growing needs of the government, and is the first accreditation of the strategic initiative. The overall program focuses on four pillars: intrusion detection, incident response, vulnerability assessment and penetration testing.

NSCAP requires that accredited service providers undergo a thorough review of their ability to deliver 21 focus areas of incident response services, deliver consistent services though repeatable processes, and assign skilled and qualified employees to follow approved procedures in dealing with cyberattacks. On the consumer side, system managers can expect pre-established agreements that will allow faster response times and augment existing cyber security resources.

Overall, the accreditation process seeks to develop a list of trusted cyber service providers that the national security community can draw on for assistance, and promote public-private collaboration.

“Serving as one of the first participants for the NSA’s newest incident response initiative and receiving accreditation validates our capabilities and further solidifies our role as an industry leader in the cyber security business,” Chandra McMahon, vice president of commercial markets for Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions business, said in a Lockheed Martin release.

In 2012, Lockheed Martin was awarded an $80 million contract to provide hardware and software support to the National Cyber Range, originally a project of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that can mimic the Internet to model cyber-attacks. More recently, Lockheed Martin won a $14 million contract to continue working on the range, with Defense officials having indicated that only Lockheed is capable of sustaining the range’s activities, according to Nextgov.

About the Author

Joey Cheng is an editorial fellow with Defense Systems.

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