The US Department of Homeland Security has been tasked with setting up a centralized shopping hub to which all the other US federal, state and local agencies us to get the tools and expertise for all their cyber security needs.
According to a Businessweek report, the DHS has been given $6 billion to spend in the next five years in order to make this happen and is currently accepting bids. Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and other big contractors are vying for a piece of the pie, as well as several big cyber security firms.
The number of companies whose bid will be accepted has been limited to five.
The program is a direct consequence of president Obama’s February executive order with which he tasked the DHS to – among other things – make sure that civilian government networks are made resilient to cyber attacks.
And even though it has been started with civilian government agencies in mind, intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense will also be able to take advantage of it and acquire the software, hardware and the consultancy services offer through it.
One of the main reasons for setting it up was to solve the problem of keeping smaller agencies’ defenses up, as these agencies don’t have a big enough budget to do so by themselves, and to encourage the reporting of information and details of attacks they are submitted to.