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.
Darktrace | June 09, 2022
Darktrace Federal, Inc., a division of Darktrace plc, a global leader in cyber security AI, announced that it has appointed Marcus Fowler, former U.S Marine and senior CIA officer, as its Chief Executive Officer.
Darktrace launched Darktrace Federal in March 2022 and since then has continued to advance its mission to serve the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the intelligence community (IC), federal civilian agencies, and national critical infrastructure to strengthen their defenses with Self-Learning AI. Darktrace Federal will ensure mission resilience, augment and accelerate zero trust implementations, and proactively defend against zero-days, insider threats, and supply chain compromises. In addition to defending on-premise and cloud IT and OT environments, Darktrace's email security technology will be the basis for enabling federal entities to disrupt targeted, socially-engineered impersonation and account hijack attacks.
Since its establishment, Darktrace Federal has been focusing on the following key areas:
Deploying products based on Darktrace's advanced Self-Learning AI technology on-premise and completing FedRAMP certification for email security and cloud deployments. For FedRAMP, Darktrace Federal is in the process of establishing Impact Level-5 and GCC High to protect federal civilian, DoD, and IC environments.
Providing technical demonstrations of Darktrace's Self-Learning AI-based approach to cyber security to federal government critical infrastructure agencies.
Utilizing the new DoD contract funding vehicle Darktrace has executed to enable rapid deployment with DoD and federal civilian agencies and partners.
At such a critical moment in our nation's history, when nation-state cyber-aggressors are actively conducting operations for dominance in cyberspace, we aim to empower the U.S. government to be steps ahead of attackers to neutralize stealthy and sophisticated threats at their earliest stages. I am honored to lead the Darktrace Federal team and bring Darktrace's proven AI technology to federal customers."
Marcus Fowler, CEO at Darktrace Federal
Patrick Gonzalez, former U.S Air Force and U.S. Space Force contracting officer, who is a member of the Darktrace Federal advisory board and brings with him a wealth of experience in government acquisition and contracts, commented: "Following a lengthy career in this space, I am thrilled to see such a high level of interest so soon after the launch of Darktrace Federal. I am proud that we are taking the necessary steps to do business with the federal government and will continue to work hard to meet demand and ensure Darktrace Federal is on appropriate contract vehicles."
For Darktrace Federal inquiries or contract vehicle references, please contact Sally Grant, VP of Darktrace Federal
Grant emphasizes, "we are standing by to support U.S. government cyber defenses. The speed and scale of modern cyber threats requires AI to augment human cyber defenders. We are here to support cyber analyst teams under attack from machine-driven cyber warfare."
About Darktrace Federal, Inc
Darktrace Federal, Inc. is the U.S. Federal Division of Darktrace plc (DARK.L). Darktrace plc is a global leader in cyber security AI, delivering world-class technology that protects over 6,800 customers worldwide from malicious threats. Darktrace Federal applies Darktrace's Self-Learning AI to enable unsupervised machine learning to defend and respond to nation-state attacks.
Hayden AI Technologies | July 01, 2022
Hayden AI Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of smart traffic enforcement solutions powered by artificial intelligence, has been awarded a patent for technology that automatically manages and analyzes traffic rules for violation enforcement and enables data-informed operational improvements for government agencies. The patent was awarded on May 3, 2022 and is labeled U.S. Patent number 11,322,017 B1.
The new patented technology facilitates the management of complex traffic rules using a traffic enforcement layer situated on top of a semantic map layer. The map layer, which consists of street elements such as intersections and stop signs, is continuously updated with data captured by Hayden AI edge devices already installed on municipal vehicles for automated enforcement. The enforcement layer consists of traffic rules that can be adjusted directly by the user or automatically via a traffic insight layer, which is generated based on traffic violations and traffic conditions. By analyzing the impact of traffic rules, the insight layer also provides suggestions for adjustments.
We devised this method because defining and managing traffic rules digitally hasn't been done successfully before. Our pilot programs consistently show that using AI to manage traffic rules is significantly more efficient and flexible than the traditional logic-based approach. We've also built in mechanisms that enable municipalities to gauge the effectiveness of particular traffic rules or lane restrictions in reducing traffic congestion as well as keeping buses on schedule."
Bo Shen, CTO and Co-Founder of Hayden AI
In addition to using artificial intelligence to automatically learn and manage traffic rules, the new system allows municipalities to directly update these rules via an interactive map editor. Government entities can also import raw traffic rule data from a transportation department database and generate a heat map of traffic violations detected by edge devices to update the insight layer.
By providing several methods to add and modify enforcement rules, the system helps government entities to update ineffective restrictions and ensure that enforcement results in a reduction in traffic congestion and crashes and an improvement in travel times and safety.
About Hayden AI
Hayden AI is pioneering smart traffic enforcement with its mobile platform to increase the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of municipal fleet vehicles. Our platform allows government agencies to enforce traffic laws, while harnessing AIoT data to gain actionable insights that help enhance the quality of life of their communities. Developed by a team of experts in machine learning, data science, transportation, and government technology, our flagship product, Automated Bus Lane Enforcement, enforces dedicated bus lanes, delivery zones, and intersections to reduce traffic congestion, improve bus speeds, and increase transit ridership.