SynED | May 30, 2022
SynED, a national non-profit organization that identifies emerging best practices for effective articulation between employers, job seekers, and education providers, announced that Christopher Newborn, recently retired Professor of Information Technology (Cybersecurity Emphasis) at Defense Acquisition University (DAU), is this month's CyberHero.
Chris's decades of experience and approach to his work positioned him to be an outstanding advocate for the protection of sensitive information in the U.S. Defense Industrial Base supply chain, the nation's private sector defense contractors. He worked with the acquisition workforce and Defense Industrial Base professionals who are responsible for acquiring, deploying, and maintaining cybersecurity capabilities and defending critical networks, systems, and data.
While at DAU, Chris provided critical support to the California Advanced Supply Chain Analysis and Diversification Effort (CASCADE and CASCADE II), established by the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research to bolster California's defense supply chain cybersecurity resilience.
Chris and I worked together on the CASCADE program, and he was incredibly helpful in demonstrating the challenges that defense suppliers face in meeting requirements and finding cybersecurity workers. His duty to country and helping others really shines through. I have no doubt that his 'retirement' will just mean he's starting a new chapter in his service to others and national security."
Liz Fraumann, Director and Senior Project Manager at synED
CASCADE has spurred projects that support business assistance programs and the growth of the cybersecurity workforce through cybersecurity-related education curricula, training, and apprenticeship programs.
Chris takes a hands-on, real-world approach to his work. "I always say, I'm not necessarily a professor, I'm a consultant," Mr. Newborn shared. "The reason I say that is, I will take things in a real world scenario and put it to how it applies to you, so you can come up with efficient and effective methods to counter the threat, or at least come up with trade-offs."
The U.S. government has responded to increasing threats to classified and unclassified information by issuing statutory and regulatory policies and procedures. However, these cybersecurity guidelines and requirements have proven to be challenging for businesses to properly implement and execute.
"We have done a great job when we classify information as secret and above, we have great processes and procedures in place," added Mr. Newborn. "The problem is, when Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and other unclassified information is accumulated over a period of time, this information, when aggregated, can provide enough information to our foreign adversaries and competitors to get a leg-up."
The Defense Industrial Base supply chain is complex and layered, with prime contractors, subcontractors, vendors and manufacturers, with a wide spectrum of size, experience and capabilities at every level. "[Our adversaries are] not just after our prime contractors and sub-contractors, they're after our manufacturers and vendors," added Mr. Newborn said.
Many contractors, manufacturers, and vendors are small to medium-sized businesses that have limited staff and resources to meet ever-changing cybersecurity guidelines and requirements. To help mitigate these challenges, the government has sponsored training to help them better understand the statutory and regulatory requirements.
While at DAU, Chris supported conferences and conducted workshops with Defense Industrial Base partners. With another DAU professor, Dr. Paul Shaw, Chris developed training content and supported multilateral "bootcamps" on acquisition topics, bringing in government employees, vendors, and academia to illuminate common issues and find solutions.
Laura Rodgers, Senior Manager for Cyber Compliance at the North Carolina Military Business Center, said Chris brings a unique perspective that can't be found anywhere else. "He puts some structure on this nebulous thing called cybersecurity, and then he's got the technical chops to help too. He's been very helpful to the North Carolina defense industrial base and we've benefitted greatly from his expertise and insight."
After meeting Laura on a webinar presentation, Chris offered to attend a weekly class put on by Laura so he can answer questions from her students. He attends each week and stays on late to answer questions. "There are just not many out there who are that committed to national security," added Ms. Rodgers.
Chris graduated from Atlanta's Morehouse College in 1982, a historically Black men's liberal arts college. That year, Chris joined General Dynamics, where he worked on early electrification efforts for the M1 Abrams tank and the development of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
While working at General Dynamics in Detroit, Chris joined the Navy, where he received valuable training and education that furthered his career. He remained in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1984 to 1990. During Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Chris was at the Tank Automotive Command where he oversaw all the secondary spare parts for the Army. Chris was the most senior person of color, having been promoted quickly to GS-14, the second-highest civilian Federal government employee ranking.
"I may not have a uniform on, but if I do my job to the best of my ability as an acquisition professional, giving the tools to the warfighter, then they have a chance of doing their duty and going home safely to their families," Chris said of his work during Operation Desert Storm. "That is my motto, and that is what I've been following ever since."
Chris was appointed to the Army's civilian staff at the Pentagon, where he worked on acquisition management from the government side. He says his time working at the Pentagon and living in the Washington, DC area was a career highlight. In 1997, Chris joined the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)'s Cybersecurity and Program Management Office, just as the military command was transitioning from Crystal City, Virginia, to San Diego. His duty was to procure and manage cyber capabilities for the program offices at SPAWAR, becoming both a subject matter expert and an acquisition manager.
Then, after 30 years in government, Chris moved to DAU to pass on his knowledge. "I look at myself as a conduit of information, almost like a router. That is why I always come back and say, 'Sometimes you have to be that subject matter expert, sometimes you have to be the facilitator, and sometimes you just have to take notes."
After 37 years with the Department of Defense, Chris officially retired in April 2022 and recently moved to North Carolina. Chris plans to return to DAU as a part-time Intermittent Professor to complete his work on a curriculum for cybersecurity requirements in the Defense Industrial Base. There is no one better placed to strengthen cybersecurity in the Defense acquisitions supply chain and workforce.
He also hopes to be a bridge between the East and West Coasts' military businesses. In his spare time, he and his wife Agnes plan to volunteer with the local public school district to support teachers.
About SynED CyberHero's Series
SynED's CyberHero's series is a monthly column published nationally that highlights individuals who quietly go above and beyond in helping to secure our nation and communities by developing cyber talent. SynED is a national non-profit that identifies and highlights emerging best practices for effective articulation between employers, job seekers, and education providers. SynED is the proud recipient of the 2021 Association for Career & Technical Education Business-Education Partnership Award.
ProPricer | June 16, 2022
ProPricer, the leading proposal pricing solution for government contractors and agencies, announced that it had entered a partnership with Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based business. ProPricer has joined Deltek's Marketplace to provide Deltek Costpoint and Deltek Cobra customers with direct access to the ProPricer pricing platform.
Government contracting, particularly pricing, has unique needs and challenges. Pricing software that meets the needs of federal regulations is hard to come by, which is why we built our software. Contractors and agencies alike have seen improvements in the bid process through ProPricer—and we want to expand on that with Costpoint and Cobra integrations. We're excited about this relationship and the opportunities that stem from the Deltek Marketplace."
Keith Nordin, ProPricer's Chief Revenue Officer
Deltek Costpoint and Deltek Cobra complement ProPricer by focusing on improving quality control and project success for government contractors. Both parties bring efficiency, compliance, and digitalization to the proposal process for agencies.
"Deltek recognizes the need for the public sector to increase acquisition efficiencies. "This collaboration will enhance the operational effectiveness of acquisition, contracting, and project management for our customers as we navigate the shifting pricing landscape," said Pete Mann, Senior VP, Corporate Development & Product Alliances at Deltek.
The Government Contract Pricing (GCP) Summit, the nation's only conference for federal contract pricing professionals, kicks off today, June 14, and will feature keynote addresses from the Department of Defense (DoD) and industry leaders. Representatives from Deltek and ProPricer will also be presenting at the summit. Learn more about ProPricer's arrival in the Deltek Marketplace by visiting each organization's conference booth or the ProPricer Blog.
ProPricer is software that maximizes the efficiency and accuracy of the development, submission, evaluation, negotiation, and auditing of proposal pricing. From storing historical proposal data to effortlessly generating a broad range of reports, ProPricer empowers government contractors to build custom proposals, perform what-if analyses, and integrate all proposal data quickly and easily—within one platform.
Founded in 1984, ProPricer is trusted by organizations worldwide, including the top 10 US defense contractors. The company thrives on transforming its customers' needs into product features and enhancements that benefit all its current and future users. ProPricer is a trademark of Executive Business Services, Inc. (EBS).
Better software means better projects. Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. More than 30,000 organizations and millions of users in over 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek for superior levels of project intelligence, management, and collaboration. Our industry-focused expertise powers project success by helping firms achieve performance that maximizes productivity and revenue.
XOR Security | May 25, 2022
XOR Security LLC (XOR) recently announced that it won a $31.4 million single-award task order to provide Cybersecurity Operations Support Services to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) within the Department of Commerce. The USPTO Office of the Chief Information Officer [OCIO] delivers information and technology to enable innovation, and these services are critical to USPTO's ability to achieve its mission, goals, and objectives, and its Cybersecurity Division (CD) is responsible for all aspects of USPTO Information Technology Security. These include leading and operating a state-of- the art security operations center, which manages responses to a wide range of security and system performance indicators on USPTO's information systems, network infrastructure, and software systems.
Under this task order awarded by USPTO under General Services Administration (GSA) Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Service (HACS) as a full and open opportunity, XOR will provide services typically associated with cybersecurity operations programs, and will help USPTO to ensure program alignment with Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure, Executive Order (EO) 13800. Award of this task order does not constitute an endorsement by USPTO of XOR.
XOR is committed to supporting our federal government agencies who face evolving cyber threats from a dynamic set of actors. We have over a decade of experience developing and supporting cyber operations and engineering platforms which enables us to deliver the most advanced technology and cybersecurity solutions for our customers."
Razwan Raja, XOR Founder and Principal
Wasif Shakeel, XOR Partner for Cyber Operations, added, "XOR is very excited to kick this project off. I want to thank USPTO for placing their trust in us and give special thanks to our entire team for their hard work leading up to this contract award."
About XOR Security
XOR Security is a small business leader delivering Security Operations, Security Engineering, Cyber Analytics, Cyber Intelligence, and Cyber Offense services across a portfolio of approximately 30 federal and commercial cybersecurity programs, including six Security Operations Centers which we currently lead as Prime contractor. Our highly technical cyber operations and engineering professionals are on the front lines of the cyber battlefield, helping to protect our nation's critical infrastructure. The greatest risk is the one that goes unseen. At XOR Security, we shed light on the shadows.
Insight Partners | June 27, 2022
Global software investor Insight Partners announced the establishment of its Government Advisory Board, a group of government and defense leaders whose combined expertise will provide a valuable, actionable network for Insight's portfolio of software startup and ScaleUp companies. With a 25+ year legacy of investing in software, Insight Partners already has a long history of investing in government across federal, defense, state, and local sectors (including K12). The Government Advisory Board will advise Insight Partners about important public sector investment opportunities and risks, and bring their deep experience to the broad set of portfolio companies that are working with government customers.
The government, across all sectors, needs the next generation of great software companies to better serve constituents, modernize government, and deliver services more effectively and securely. With investments in companies from all corners of the globe, Insight has always maintained a belief that great software companies can originate from anywhere, and with the right strategic partner, expand rapidly into new markets. The Government Advisory Board allows Insight to bring the perspectives of former government leaders to provide strategic counsel to portfolio companies—so they can be better equipped to support government agencies across a range of important missions.
Insight Partners' Government Advisory Board is made up of preeminent leaders with many decades of experience in the U.S. government, including:
Secretary Ash Carter, the 25th United States Secretary of Defense, and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Honorable Sue Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, former Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and career Central Intelligence Agency official.
Lieutenant General (ret.) Jack Shanahan, former Director of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), and first Director of the Algorithmic Warfare Cross- Functional Team (Project Maven).
Essye Miller, former Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer and CISO of the U.S. Department of Defense.
Honorable Dr. Will Roper, former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and founding Director of the Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office.
Nicole Wong, former Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Google, Twitter's Legal Director for Products, and inaugural member of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Advisory Committee.
General (ret.) Joe Votel, former Commander of Central Command (CENTCOM) and Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and President and CEO of Business Executives for National Security (BENS).
We're honored to launch a Government Advisory Board of leaders who bring a diverse set of experiences across government and administrations at the most senior levels. They are passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and believe commercial software is key to modernizing government in its important missions. Insight believes there is significantly more opportunity to invest in the software solutions transforming the government sector, and the Government Advisory Board has the opportunity to shape and strengthen our success as we continue to scale up in government and defense."
Richard Wells, Managing Director at Insight Partners
"The ability of the United States government to deliver on its important missions—from national defense to Veterans health care to local K12 education—increasingly rests on government agencies being able to find, try, and use great commercial software," said Secretary Ash Carter. "That's why I rebuilt the Defense Department's links closer to the proverbial Silicon Valley when I was Secretary of Defense—via the creation of the Defense Innovation Unit, Defense Digital Services, and the Defense Innovation Board—and why I'm so dedicated to working with Insight Partners and their portfolio of leading software companies."
"I'm enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with these accomplished, inspiring colleagues at Insight Partners to help companies advance their capabilities and the government achieve its aims," said Sue Gordon.
"After my experiences running two AI 'startups' in the Department of Defense, I am honored to join my esteemed colleagues on Insight Partners' government advisory board," said Lt General (ret.) Jack Shanahan. "We are excited by the opportunity to work closely with Insight Partners in their quest to find the country's best technology companies and help solve the government's most pressing challenges."
"Insight Partners is very thoughtful and deliberate in identifying companies with innovative solutions and helping them scale to meet the critical needs of our nation and the world. I am excited to partner with the other amazing Government Advisory Board members to support Insight," said Essye Miller.
"Digital technology is driving the world at an accelerated rate. Yet the U.S. government keeps falling further behind. I'm very excited to work with Insight Partners' to navigate challenges of working with the government at software speeds," said Will Roper.
"Government—as a customer, funder, and regulator—needs to be working with the best software companies, to promote economic growth, fairness, and innovation," said Nicole Wong. "I'm delighted to join the Insight Partners Government Advisory Board, and am excited to work with the team at Insight and the word-class entrepreneurs they support."
"I am really excited to work with Insight Partners as they try to help these highly innovative companies that are so important to helping the US maintain its competitive edge," said General (ret.) Joe Votel.
About Insight Partners
Insight Partners is a global software investor partnering with high-growth technology, software, and Internet startup and ScaleUp companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. As of February 24, 2022, the closing of the firm's recent fundraise, Fund XII, brings Insight Partners' regulatory assets under management to over $90B. Insight Partners has invested in more than 600 companies worldwide and has seen over 55 portfolio companies achieve an IPO. Headquartered in New York City, Insight has offices in London, Tel Aviv, and Palo Alto. Insight's mission is to find, fund, and work successfully with visionary executives, providing them with practical, hands-on software expertise to foster long-term success. Insight Partners supports great software leaders at all stages of their growth journey, from first investment to IPO.