Network Security Deployment (NSD) strives to improve the cybersecurity of Federal Government departments, agencies, and partners by delivering the technologies and services needed to fulfill the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications’ cybersecurity mission.
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C) works collaboratively with public, private, and international entities to secure cyberspace and America’s cyber assets. In support of that mission, NSD is responsible for designing, developing, acquiring, deploying, sustaining, and providing customer support for the National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS). NCPS satisfies aspects of the Department’s mission requirements under the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative through the delivery of intrusion detection, advanced analytics, information sharing, and intrusion prevention capabilities that diminish the potential impact of cyber threats.
As the lead for overall planning and architecture development for NCPS, NSD works closely with all elements of CS&C. These collaborations represent the link between the business/mission needs, Information Technology strategies, and the systems being developed and executed in production. With these efforts, NSD provides the following benefits for NCPS:
- a long-term strategic direction that can guide short-term program decisions;
- improved program performance by identifying performance goals and enabling the measurement of those goals to achieve the program vision;
- simplified investment decisions by providing information on new capabilities needed within the program, as well as areas for improvement so that informed technology investments can be made; and
- an enabling approach/capability that can serve those who wish to augment their own capabilities or those who wish to institute a more complete solution.
Investment & Contracts Management
The Investment and Contract Management (I&CM) branch of NSD is responsible for planning for, executing, and managing the acquisition strategy for NCPS, including preparing statements of work, independent government cost estimates, and other related acquisition documentation. The I&CM branch also formulates and executes the NCPS program and project budgets, including all phases of the Planning, Programming, Budget, and Execution process. I&CM develops and manages the NCPS Life Cycle Cost Estimate that adheres to the best practices of the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide and provides the functionality to run budget options and alternatives analysis (i.e. what-if scenarios) to assist in budget formulation. Finally, I&CM oversees the performance of contracts in support of NCPS and performs integrated program control activities to ensure the program and project management status information is effectively and efficiently portrayed in a timely manner through program reviews, performance metrics, and program compliance.
Systems Engineering & Acquisition Oversight
The Systems Engineering & Acquisition Oversight (SE&AO) branch supports program management oversight of NCPS to ensure capabilities are coordinated and delivered effectively and efficiently. Program management functions include strategic and technical planning, assessment functions, and documenting and tracking program cost, schedule, and risk. SE&AO also provides systems engineering support, including serving as a liaison with the system user community throughout the system’s development cycle. Maintaining close interaction with the system user ensures that NSD understands the underlying functional requirements, which is critical to developing and delivering an effective capability. Successful mission integration is ultimately validated through an extensive round of developmental, system, and operational test events that NSD oversees. NSD’s systems engineering support also includes developing secure solutions to interoperability issues by ensuring compliance with data standards, security requirements, interface control documents, and other architecture products.
System Sustainment & Operations
The System Sustainment & Operations branch is responsible for operating and maintaining NCPS. Operations and maintenance includes 24/7 systems administration and customer support services, Security Operations Center and Network Operation Center support, configuration management, logistics, technical refresh, and continuous monitoring. NSD’s system sustainment and operations staff is also responsible for coordinating with the development staff to ensure that the designs of new capabilities work within the existing NCPS architecture.
The Capability Development staff designs, develops, and deploys intrusion detection, advanced analytics, information sharing, and intrusion prevention capabilities. The development staff also interfaces with industry to research emerging technologies and to create capability roadmaps that introduce new technologies into the architecture within a given capability area. Once a capability is developed, this staff also works to ensure the capability is properly integrated into the program’s core infrastructure and properly transitioned to the operations and maintenance staff.
Advanced Plans and Architecture
NSD participates as the DHS architectural lead for efforts such as Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) -5 and the information architecture efforts to connect the major cyber centers. As the Cyber Domain Steward for National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), NSD is partnering with government and industry to enhance the interoperability and standardization of cyber information exchanges. These efforts advance information sharing and improve the flexibility and agility of solution/capability development, which is critical given the need for NCPS to easily change and adapt to evolving cyber threats.
NSD is also enabling DHS’s ability to expand its partnerships with Federal agencies, vendors, academia, Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), state, local, and tribal governments, and international organizations to become the cybersecurity IT service provider of choice for the Federal Government. Through its leadership and contribution to critical initiatives such as the EINSTEIN program, architecture efforts under CNCI-5 to connect the cyber centers, partnerships with industry for Managed Security Services, and standards and interoperability under NIEM, NSD is driving national-level efforts to improve the cybersecurity posture of the Federal Government and critical infrastructure.
Researching New Cybersecurity Capabilities
DHS has partnered with the Department of Defense (DOD) on several cybersecurity pilots under the Joint Cybersecurity Pilot Program in order to investigate technologies, processes, concepts, end items, or system demonstrations—based on shared cyber needs used to support the computer network defense missions of both DOD and DHS.
Building Success Through Partnerships
NSD is enabling DHS’s ability to expand its partnerships with Federal agencies; vendors; academia; ISACs; state, local, and tribal governments; and international organizations in order to become the cybersecurity IT service provider of choice for the Federal Government. Through its leadership and contribution to critical initiatives such as the EINSTEIN program, architecture efforts under CNCI-5 to connect the cyber centers, partnerships with industry for Managed Security Services, and standards and interoperability under NIEM, NSD is driving national-level efforts to improve the cybersecurity posture of the Federal Government and critical infrastructure.