January 24, 2012

Brazilian Army's incremental steps for the development of a National Cyber Defence Capability

News Report

An interesting entry in Forcas Terrestres provides some insight into the activities undergoing in Brazil for creating a national Cyber Defense capability.

As illustrated by the blog, and confirmed by other sources, the Brazilian Army awarded two contracts in 2011 for acquiring a new antivirus system and a cyber-warfare simulator. The contracts were assigned to two different brazilian companies, i.e. BluePex and HP's brazilian partner Decatron. Both the two contracts have been managed by the Brazilian Army's Centre for Communications and Electronic Warfare (CCOMGEX, Centro de Comunicações e Guerra Eletrônica do Exército), which is the same military organization that is leading and coordinating the activities for the two transformation programs that will re-shape brazilian land armed forces, namely the SISFRON (Sistema Integrado de Monitoramento de Fronteiras) and the Projeto Brigada Braço Forte.

Under the terms of the first contract, which has an approximate value of 450 k$, BluePex will install its antivirus into the Brazilian Army's network (EBnet), which comprises more the 60000 computers, and will provide training and services to the Army. The BluePex antivirus will replace the one already provided by the spanish company Panda Securitywhich signed in 2010 an agreement with the CCOMGEX to support the professionalization of its operational agents involved in the fight against cyber-terrorism, digital crime and strategic intervention in the event of cyber-warfare.

Under the terms of the second contract, which has an approximate value of 1,2 M$, Decatron will develop a SW environment aimed at training army personnel in the surveillance and defence of network and systems against cyber attacks and cyber incidents. The contract was awarded on last November through an electronic auction in which only Brazilian companies were admitted to bid, according to a strategy of nationalization that puzzled all those international companies that during 2011 had been called by CCOMGEX to present their solutions in the field of cyber warfare simulation.

The Context

The two awards assigned by CCOMGEX are part of a bigger plan undertaken by the Brazilian Government to allow the country’s military, law enforcement agencies and private sector to start performing a collaborative and preventive work against cyber threats. In this framework, the Presidential Institutional Security Cabinet (GSI) published in 2010 its so-called Green Book of Brazil’s Cyber Security, intended as a starter to define the parameters of a collaborative national policy which includes symmetric cryptography, asymmetric techniques, security protocols, techniques for secure implementation, high-performance data processing, computation and quantum cryptography, project management and collaborative infrastructure, and human resources development.

Brazilian Armed Forces are a key component of this plan. Last year, Brazilian Army launched the Center for Cyber Defense (CDCiber) in Brasília. As military-led enterprise, "the Center is a step in the development of doctrines for the coordination of cyber security among all the branches of the Armed Forces and with other sectors of society,” said Army Lt. Gen. José Carlos dos Santos, commander of CDCiber. All the branches of Brazil’s Armed Forces have programs of cyber defense, but the new center will integrate leadership of those programs.

References: Forte.Jor.br (1), Panda Security (2), Diàlogo (3)

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