CMA Hosts Federal Cybersecurity Solutions Reference Architecture Meeting

June 10, 2016
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Katie Kennedy

The GWACsolutions Center of Excellence* recently conducted a hands-on work session to map and demonstrate alignment of best-in-class solutions and services to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

“Standardized Frameworks such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework serve as an essential starting point in the planning process – but they are just that … a starting point” said John Frey who led the work session.  John is Deputy Director for Computer Marketing Associates, Inc. (CMA) GWAC Program; and serves as the Managing Director of the GWACsolutions Center of Excellence – sponsored and hosted by CMA.

Creating the GWACsolutions COE Cybersecurity Reference Architecture

More than a dozen solution providers participated in the work session contributing their knowledge, technologies, and expertise covering capabilities ranging from initial cyber threat risk & vulnerability assessment, to IT Infrastructure and systems/network security, to data security, along with tools to manage an organizations entire risk /cyber solution portfolio.  Best practices in security and business operations were a major part of the dialogue as well.

“It’s obvious that cybersecurity is not a pure product play by any means” according to Ernest McCaleb, Chief Architect for the DoD/DISA Cyber Range in Quantico, VA.  “Federal organizations are dependent on trusted advisors and professional services partners to bring proven skills and practical experience to the equation”.

Collectively, the participants are now mapping their solutions to the NIST Framework from both integration and interoperability perspectives; and at the same time making sure their solutions are available to all federal organizations under the CIO-CS GWAC to assure ease of procurement with speed, quality, and value.

NIH’s CIO-CS Stakeholder Engagement & Strategy Lead, Sean Cease, remarked: “Federal stakeholders need to be able to discern the best cybersecurity elements that contribute to a holistic capability for their agency or component operation and understand the most effective way to acquire and integrate the solutions to support their mission and pressing operational requirements”.

The GWACsolutions Cybersecurity Reference Architecture is intended to be a continuous work-in-progress. As threats evolve and present themselves – and technologies and knowledge move from defensive to proactive, making sure the government has immediate access to the right solutions is the mission of the GWACsolutions COE.

For more information on the GWACsolutions Cybersecurity Reference Architecture, or want to learn how to participate in this program – contact John Frey: