Alex Constantine - August 18, 2010
The nearly $1 billion, five-year contract for round-the-clock intrusion-detection monitoring points to a managed-services trend among federal agencies.
By Elizabeth Montalbano
InformationWeek | August 18, 2010
The FBI is outsourcing cybersecurity to the tune of nearly $1 billion to a Washington-area managed services company. The deal shows a willingness in the federal government to place IT services more and more in the hands of third parties as agencies don't have enough staff on hand to do the job.
The five-year contract awards $99.5 to Fairfax, Va.-based ManTech International for round-the-clock intrusion-detection monitoring; security engineering; incident identification and response; vulnerability assessment and penetration testing; cyber-threat analysis; and specialized cyber training services. ManTech will use ISO 9001-compliant security processes to provide its services, as well as introduce new technology aimed at reducing cyber-threat risks, according to the company. ISO 9001 is a global quality standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for good management practices.
Federal agencies across the board are beefing up their cybersecurity, especially agencies like the FBI that deal with sensitive and highly classified intelligence information. But the federal government doesn't have enough manpower to do this all themselves, and it's likely there will be more deals to use managed security services in the future.
Indeed, a Forrester Research report found that while businesses and the public sector used to be hesitant to outsource security, the market for managed security services has been growing steadily over the last few years. Moreover, government customers are one of the primary markets for managed security services providers (MSSPs), according to Forrester.
The FBI is not the only federal agency to use ManTech's services. The company also works with the departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security and Justice, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.