Lockheed Martin and thirteen other leading technology providers announced the formation of a new cyber security technology alliance yesterday. The announcement took place in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The event coincided with the opening of the new Lockheed Martin NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center.
According to Government Computer News, "the new NexGen facility will be able to tap into the defense center's data feeds, or simulate government agency computing environments, and test various approaches to mitigate cyberattacks.... The new center also features dedicated distributed cloud computing and virtualization capabilities. Those capabilities would permit an agency to simulate a network under attack and test various responses. For instance, analysts could replicate an operating network and freeze it on a second virtual location, in order to study the nature of the attack, while still supporting the primary network."
The companies participating in the Cyber Security Alliance include APC by Schneider Electric, CA, Cisco, Dell, EMC Corp. and its RSA security division, HP, Intel, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Microsoft, NetApp, Symantec and VMware.
According to the Lockheed Martin press release, this new center will help our nation deal with 21st century technology infrastructure challenges. "We face significant known and unknown threats to our critical infrastructure," said Charles Croom, Vice President, Cyber Security Solutions, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services. "We not only need solid defenses but also the right technologies to predict and prevent future threats. Innovation and collaboration are key to ensuring mission resilience and securing cyberspace."
Why do I highlight this announcement? I believe that these types of technology alliances are essential to address our growing threats in cyberspace. The "bad guys" continue to get better, and state and local governments have few if any dollars to invest in testing and research to properly secure new virtualization and cloud computing security challenges. Governments need the private sector to step up and offer these types of testbeds.
As we move forward, issues around identity management, end-to-end trust and cloud security will need to be tested in complex scenarios that state and local government networks will simply not be able to simulate properly. This alliance is a great step towards offering integrated solutions that governments can buy off the shelf.
What are your thoughts?