U.S. Cyber Command will host its first-ever industry day to canvass with the broader cybersecurity community on Oct. 27. The move is part of the command's efforts to begin flexing its newly increased acquisition authority after Congress last year appropriated $75 million in annual funding through 2021 for cyber operations hardware, software and services.
Speaking at FCW's Aug. 9 cybersecurity event, George "Dennis" Bartko, Cyber Command CIO, compared working in the cybersecurity space to playing golf, in that everyone -- the command, other departments and malicious actors -- are all playing on the same course. That makes collaboration between government and the tech industry all the more important.
"All of us and our adversaries are in that same space, and whoever can play that course better wins," Bartko said.
Bartko told FCW the planned industry day was not pegged to any particular procurement, but rather to encourage a broader conversation. "We're just putting it all out there," he said. "It's our first one, so we'll see how it goes -- and hopefully the second will then be even better."
However, any new procurement activity is expected to be complimentary, and the command still expects to continue using its normal acquisitions process.
"With our own acquisition authority we can start acquiring directly, and that helps [to streamline] a lot, said Bartko. "However, because the authority Congress gave us -- which we're very thankful for -- is incremental…we will continue to acquire things through others agencies in order to execute our entire portfolio."
About the Author
Derek B. Johnson is a staff writer at FCW. He has a Master's degree in public policy from George Mason University. His journalism has appeared in The Washington Post, GoodCall News, Foreign Policy Journal, Washington Technology, Elevation DC, Connection Newspapers and The Maryland Gazette.