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FCW : February 2016
Trending employees are expected to soon be part of U.S. Cyber Command 6,200 8 February 2016 FCW.COM Russia has turned eastern Ukraine into an information battlefield, and U.S. defense officials are watching every move, in part for hints about Russian tactics in the emerging field of cyberwarfare. Robert Giesler, chief of strategy and plans in the secretary of Defense’s Strategic Capabilities Office, is the latest U.S. official to reflect publicly on how Russia’s campaign in Ukraine underscores the role of information systems in 21st-century warfare. “We have certainly seen the sophis- tication of cyber strikes improve over [Russia’s operations in] Estonia and Georgia, from rudimentary denial-of- service to...relatively sophisticated surgical effects,” Giesler said at a National Defense Industrial Associa- tion conference in January. He was referring to the 2007 attacks on Estonian government websites — among other targets — that were widely blamed on Moscow and a simi- lar campaign against Georgian web- sites that coincided with Russia’s 2008 military campaign in that country. “We see cyber being increasingly used as a first-strike weapon by peer competitors as well as by non-peer competitors,” Giesler said, adding that non-military assets are increas- ingly the targets. He cited as an example the recent hacking of part of the Ukrainian power grid, calling it the work of an “unat- tributable actor.” Some media reports have linked the hacks to Russia. Russian forces have used advanced systems to jam Ukrainian battlefield communications. Within minutes of using a radio, Ukrainian commanders would be targeted by Russian-backed artillery strikes, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work. He has described eastern Ukraine as a “laboratory for the future of 21st-cen- tury warfare.” — Sean Lyngaas U.S. official: Russian cyberwarfare getting more sophisticated Federal IT leaders hope the General Services Administration’s five-year, $503 million Salesforce Implementa- tion, Integration and Support Services blanket purchase agreement will be the first of many to support government- wide software platform acquisitions. The BPA consolidates the govern- ment’s Salesforce technical develop- ment, operations and maintenance, and implementation strategy require- ments into one procurement vehicle, officials said during a January call with reporters. It is designed to align with new rules under the Federal IT Acqui- sition Reform Act and with GSA’s own strategic sourcing efforts. GSA CIO David Shive said the Sales- force platform was seeing heavy but fragmented use at many agencies, but inexperienced vendors and the lack of quality standards sometimes yielded “dubious results.” Officials said the BPA eliminates a multitude of inefficiencies that have arisen as agencies find their own ways to get Salesforce, such as one-off con- tracts, and it marks the way forward for other efforts. Mark Naggar, IT vendor manage- ment specialist at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the BPA adhered to rigorous evaluation standards developed by the U.S. Digi- tal Service and HHS, which required vendors to demonstrate their ability to deliver specific Salesforce exper- tise using agile methodology. Those methods and evaluation processes are meant to be reused for other software acquisitions. GSA has named six companies to work under the BPA and issued an ordering guide to show agencies how to use the BPA. — Mark Rockwell Salesforce BPA hailed as acquisition model INK TANK 0216fcw_003-010.indd 8 1/28/16 12:44 PM
March 15, 2016