Air Force adds to deal for cyber weapon system
- By Kevin McCaney
- Apr 06, 2016
The Air Force is continuing to shore up its cybersecurity posture while making its networks interoperable with the Defense Department-wide Joint Regional Security Stacks.
The service has awarded Cyber Defense Information Assurance an $11.5 million contract modification for work on the Air Force Intranet Control, which the Air Force described as its first cyberspace weapon system when it awarded the initial, $8 million contract to the company in January.
The Air Force Intranet Control (AFINC), a defensive boundary for all traffic coming into the network, merges more than more than 100 entry points on regional Air Force networks into 16 centrally managed access points that cover all traffic on the Air Force Information Network. That’s similar to what JRSS does for the Joint Information Environment, which is designed to accommodate all of the military services, other DOD components and coalition partners in an interoperable network that shrinks more than 1,000 network access points to 50 global ingress locations.
AFINC, which serves more than 1 million users at 237 sites around the world, controls both external traffic and inter-base traffic through its 16 gateways, encrypting traffic as it moves through the service’s infrastructure. It went to full operational capability in January.
The Air Force, like the other services, has been putting a lot of effort into building its cyber workforce and capabilities. Recent advances by the Army and Marines are just two examples. In February, the Air Force launched its second cyberspace weapon system, the Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter, which, like AFINC, is a defensive weapon, in this case designed to detect threats and measure compliance on the Air Force Information Network. It achieved full operational capability on Feb. 12.
Under the Air Force’s contract modification, Cyber Defense Information Assurance will provide enterprise-level network management, optimized communications and defensive measures at the network’s gateways, according to the contract announcement.
Work under the contract will be performed at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Ala., and is expected to be complete by July 8, 2017.
Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.