GAO denies protest in $1B DHS DOMino cyber contract

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LE BOURGET, Paris – Raytheon hopes to leverage its $1 billion cybersecurity win protecting federal civilian agencies to expand its reach globally, said CEO Tom Kennedy during an interview at the Paris Air Show.

The Government Accountability Office denied a protest filed by Northrop of its 5-year, $1 billion cybersecurity contract awarded to Raytheon to run the DOMino program – an effort to protect the computer networks of more than 100 federal agencies. But the implications of that win, Kennedy said, go well beyond U.S. agencies with the .gov domain.

“Having passed the muster here, relative to the screening process, competitive process to win a major cybersecurity contract in today’s market gives us the credentials to take those strengths internationally,” he said.

The sharing of cybersecurity intelligence among partner nations is improving, Kennedy added, pointing to the recent episode that initially struck the United Kingdom’s health care system. “A lot of that information was shared into the U.S., [so] the U.S. companies knew they had to update their files; those updates were happening in real time.”

Under the program Raytheon will support government efforts to develop,deploy and sustain systems that monitor, analyze and mitigate cyber threats to .gov networks. The company’s big push in cybersecurity right now is in behavior – behavior of the network and behavior of the people on the network.

“We’re trying to ensure what those behaviors are, and when those behavior are out of whack, that we can somehow put up a flag to notify folks that we have an issue relative to the network, Kennedy said.

Raytheon’s strategy to expand its cybersecurity footprint globally comes at a good time, as NATO shines a spotlight on the challenge among its members. Beyond cyber threats against critical infrastructure, a fundamental challenge faced by NATO, particularly in the development and deployment of effective defensive and offensive cyber weaponry tools, is how to optimize collaboration with the cyber intelligence infrastructures of member nations in responding to attacks in an ever-changing cyber battle theater.

The alliance recently adopted the position that international law, as has been the case in conventional warfare, also applies in cyberspace and spoke about the challenges at the four-day Cyber Conflict (CyCon) conference in Tallinn, Estonia in June.

“In NATO, we need to figure out what cyber operations are before we decide what the organizational construct is. We need to decide what precisely cyberspace is as a domain for operations. Additionally, we need to set-down what the rules of engagement are because cyberspace is a different and unique domain for operations,” said Brad Bigelow, the chief technical adviser to the CIS/Cyber Defense staff at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.