The Pentagon still has deep concerns about thefts of sensitive Defense data from contractor systems. But it’s concluded that simply using contract terms to order firms to improve their security isn’t going to do the job.
So the department is testing ways to extend its own cybersecurity expertise and infrastructure to small and medium-sized businesses who don’t have the wherewithal to adequately secure their systems against nation-state attackers. Specifically, it plans to build a secure cloud to house the Defense data companies need to perform their contracts, instead of requiring them to store it themselves.
DoD’s research and development budget for 2020 includes $15 million for a small project the department terms the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Secure Cloud Managed Services Pilot. In the early going, the Pentagon plans to make the cloud service available to “a subset” of small and medium companies that “support prioritized, critical DoD missions and programs.”
In contract terms, the department would treat the secure cloud as Government Furnished Equipment (GFE), said Ellen Lord, the undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment.
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