DISA using BRAC as IT forcing function

May 31, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via Federal News Radio

The Defense Information Systems Agency usually is on the leading edge in how it uses technology when compared to other federal agencies. But like all agencies, DISA has some areas of its IT infrastructure that are stuck in low gear.

So that’s where the Defense Department’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative is coming in handy for Henry Sienkiewicz, DISA’s chief information officer. DISA is moving more than 4,000 employees from Arlington, Va. to Fort Meade, Md. this year.

Sienkiewicz called BRAC the forcing function to make significant changes to DISA’s technology.

He said DISA is consolidating network circuits, reducing the number of printers employees use by more than 1,500 and consolidating their production environment.

“Has BRAC changed what we are doing? It has,” Sienkiewicz said. “I like to say everything has gone seamless, but we have had some challenges. But we realized as an agency we have changed.”

Sienkiewicz said DISA now is a classified facility, meaning speaker phones in open workplaces are no longer allowed, mobile devices cannot be used in the office and access to the secret and unclassified networks is easier for those employees who need to use both networks.

“We are moving into a secret open storage environment,” he said. “The Siprnet is being used in a more diffuse in environment. The density isn’t quite one-to-one, but we now have 1,700 Siprnet terminals, up from about 400 to 500 last year.”

Sienkiewicz also said about 50 percent of all employees now use public key infrastructure credentials to log on to the Siprnet.

All of these changes required DISA to know its current IT inventory. Sienkiewicz said DISA is implementing RFID technology to track and manage its technology assets.

Story here.