GSA awards first contract for TIC service on Networx

The General Services Administration has awarded a modification to the Networx Universal telecommunications contract to AT&T, making it the first company that can offer the Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Services (MTIPS) .

GSA said it will continue to evaluate MTIPS proposals from other Networx Universal contractors and make more awards as soon as possible in early 2009. Networx is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract vehcile. Although Networx Universal has a ceiling of $48.1 billion, the actual amount of business it generates will depend on how much agencies order through it.

GSA developed MTIPS for Networx Universal, which will become the primary contract for agencies to use in buying telecommunications and network services. MTIPS allows agencies to connect to the Internet in full compliance with the Office of Management and Budget’s Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) Initiative. The service reduces Internet connections in government networks and provides a standard security services to agencies.

“Fewer external connections, means fewer vulnerabilities and better secured networks,” said Karen Evans, OMB administrator for e-government and information technology.

The TIC program aims to improve security by decreasing the number of federal external connections to the Internet. The government has several thousand, and official now want less than 100 governmentwide.

Officials say limiting the number of connections will improve the Homeland Security Department’s ability to monitor the federal network — part of the Bush administration’s multi-year, multi-billion dollar Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.

“Nothing could be more critical than helping the government protect its mission-sensitive information,” said GSA Acting Administrator Jim Williams.

MTIPS includes an Einstein Enclave, s a computer network intrusion detection system, and the following components:

  • Security Operations Center for agency protection.
  • Transportatlon from the agencywide area network to the TIC.
  • Redundant Internet access service and supply chain risk management requirements, and optional features to allow for agencies' unique requirements.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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