October is National Cybersecurity Month, and with the recent Equifax data breach affecting more than 143 million people in the U.S., the reality of cybersecurity is hot news in both the public and private sectors.
The U.S. federal government has been in front of the cybersecurity curve in budgeting billions of dollars for defense and civilian agencies to tackle the ever-present cyberthreats to federal agencies and the military. Those facts have served to shine a brighter light on the CyberMaryland Conference & Showcase, which is set for Wednesday, Oct. 11, and Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Baltimore Convention Center.
Information presented at the event will address the threats, challenges, possible solutions and business opportunities in the cybersecurity field. More than 90 cyberleaders from across the globe will be speaking at the conference, and international delegations from the United Kingdom and other countries will be in attendance.
The program will include eight tracks: Cyber Risks, Cyber Education, Cyber Threat Intelligence, Acquisitions & Business Development, Cyber Insider Threats, Hacker Adaptability, Cyber Workforce and Cyber Innovation, in more than 25 sessions.
Conference organizers say that the theme, “Leading the Cyber Generation,” captures the event’s intent to provide information sharing and networking opportunities for development of cyberassets on the human and technological sides.
Additionally, the conference provides an opportunity for Maryland to demonstrate its natural leadership in cybersecurity by hosting Keynote Speaker George Barnes, National Security Agency (NSA) deputy director and senior civilian leader. As NSA’s chief operating officer, he is responsible for guiding and directing operations, studies and policy.
One of the sessions, “Master Class: Accelerate Growth & Increase Opportunities in the Federal Cyber Market,” scheduled for Oct. 11 from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m., will focus on federal contracting opportunities and processes to cut through the procurement maze. This session is presented by the author and will address the budgets, congressional actions, contract vehicles, acquisitions timing and an accelerated business development process to best position contractors in the competitive market.
A preview of the information to be shared includes the following insights from James Bratten, president of EZGovOpps, a web-based market and business intelligence tool for government contractors.
The White House has submitted a federal information technology (IT) fiscal 2018 budget request for $95.7 billion, of which the Department of Defense accounts for $42.5 billion. There will be a dramatic shift from maintaining legacy systems to modern system installation. The Modernizing Government Technology Act, already passed by the House of Representatives, now awaits Senate approval. This would create a central federal IT modernization fund allowing agencies to pool funds for future use.
For cyber-related contract vehicles, the General Services Administration (GSA), Office of IT Schedule Contract Operations, has recently established a new Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Tools Special Item Number (SIN) 132-44. The CDM Tools SIN supports the Department of Homeland Security CDM Program to provide a consistent set of continuous diagnostic and mitigation tools for government-wide use. Government customers will have one centralized location to access pre-vetted contractors with CDM offerings.
The new Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services fall under four GSA contract SINs (132-45A, B, C and D range), from Penetration Testing to Risk and Vulnerability Assessments. At the low end, SIN 132-45C “Cyber Hunt” already has 47 companies holding that SIN, while the Risk and Vulnerability Assessments, SIN 132-45D, includes 77 companies. These contract vehicles can be used by any federal (and many state) government agencies to purchase cyber-related services.
While many companies pursuing government contracts focus only on Department of Defense cybersecurity opportunities, billions of dollars are budgeted for civilian and executive agencies as well. These include health, space, labor and justice-related agencies, each with its own contract vehicles.
The NASA SEWP V (pronounced soup-five) contract to purchase IT products, as an example, began in 1993 with a projected $800 million value; it is now used not just by NASA, but by many government agencies and the value has grown to $10.5 billion for this fifth contract life-cycle. There are 145 prime contract holders on SEWP V, of which 119 are small businesses that will share in $10.5 billion worth of products and services.
See You There
The GSA also manages the Alliant 2 contracts for large and small business vendors. Just the small business segment (Alliant 2-SB) of this contract is worth $15 billion to the 80 awardees and includes any type of IT service, including cloud and cyber.
Cybersecurity is a critical risk that must be addressed by the best and brightest in the government marketplace. The October CyberMaryland Conference provides an opportunity for experienced companies, as well as those not yet working within the government, to learn, share information and meet private and public sector cybersecurity and business growth experts.
For more information, visit www.thecybermarylandconference.com.
Gloria Larkin is president and CEO of TargetGov, in Linthicum. Call 866-579-1346, email [email protected] or visit www.targetgov.com for more information.