The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is handing over a $1 billion contract to Booz Allen Hamilton to boost cybersecurity across six federal agencies. With this deal -- Booz Allen's second-largest cybersecurity task order ever -- the contractor is now responsible for securing nearly 80 percent of the .gov enterprise.
More specifically, Booz Allen has been selected as the prime contractor for the government-wide Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Dynamic and Evolving Federal Enterprise Network Defense (DEFEND) Program. DHS established the CDM program in 2012 to provide federal agencies with tools to enhance the visibility of risks and maintain an active defense against cyber threats.
The $1.03 billion contract spans six years and covers six agencies: the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Social Security Administration (SSA), the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), and the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Booz Allen has been working with DHS on its CDM efforts for more than five years, and its CDM contracts now cover 89 different federal organizations. That puts Booz Allen at the center of critically-necessary efforts to improve federal cybersecurity. In May, the DHS and Office of Management and Budget released a report stating that 71 of 96 agencies have cybersecurity programs that they labeled as either "at risk" or "high risk."
"OMB and DHS also found that Federal agencies are not equipped to determine how threat actors seek to gain access to their information," the report said.
Meanwhile, a separate survey released earlier this year of IT professionals in the federal sector found that 57 percent of federal agencies experienced a data breach in the past year. In addition, 68 percent of survey respondents said their agencies are "very" or "extremely" vulnerable to the cybersecurity challenges of today.