March 2, 2012

Contract Award: Finmeccanica and Northrop Grumman to enhance NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC)

News Report

As announced in a recent press relase, Finmeccanica, through its controlled operating companies SELEX Elsag and SELEX Sistemi Integrati's VEGA, together with its partner Northrop Grumman, has been awarded a contract by the NATO Consultation, Command and Control (NATO C3) Agency to develop, implement and support the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) - Full Operating Capability (FOC).

The contract, worth around EUR 50 million, is for an extensive managed service which will provide information assurance to around 50 NATO sites and headquarters throughout 28 countries worldwide. The NCIRC will provide the capability to detect and respond to cyber security threats and vulnerabilities rapidly and effectively. The project is intended to meet the level of ambition of NATO Head of States as set out during the Lisbon Summit in November 2010.

This award is result of a competitive selection process for which NATO collected bids from more than 300 companies across its 28 member nations. The list of the bidders included some of the world's top defense companies, such as Lockheed Martin, IBM and SAIC.

The Context

Today, the NCIRC - Initial Operating Capability (IOC) already provides NATO’s Cyber Defence capability to respond to computer security threats and vulnerabilities rapidly and effectively. It provides the means for handling and reporting incidents as well as disseminating important incident-related information to system and security management. It concentrates incident handling into one centralised and co-ordinated effort, thereby eliminating duplication of effort. However, it does not yet protect all the networks within NATO.

The upcoming NCIRC - Full Operating Capability (FOC) aims not only at a technology refresh of the existing NCIRC IOC capability but will also introduce new technologies to improve cyber defence situational awareness and enhance NATO’s ability to respond to evolving cyber-threats.This upgraded capability, which will be implemented by the end of 2012, will lay out a strong foundation for cyber defence information sharing in a federated environment.

Later increments of the NCIRC FOC project will provide NATO with the means to further develop cyber defence situational awareness by dynamically assessing and managing the level of risk in its CIS thus providing the Alliance greater flexibility in its conduct of network centric warfare.

Comments

This outcome clearly demonstrates the ability of Finmeccanica to draw on leading capabilities across its group to provide leading-edge Cyber Solutions to such an important international organisation. We are delighted that this strong partnership, combining the capabilities, resources and expertise of both organisations spanning the UK, US and Italy has been selected to offer what we believe is the superior solution best meeting the requirements of this key NATO Programme which Finmeccanica is fully committed to delivering successfully” said Giuseppe Orsi, Chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica.

We are pleased to be part of the team selected for this strategically important NATO programme,” said Mike Papay, Vice President Cyber Initiatives of Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “Northrop Grumman looks forward to bringing its talent, resources and decades-long expertise in building and operating national-level cyber security management centres, both in the U.S and U.K., to this programme to help protect NATO’s networks from advanced cyber threats.

References: Finmeccanica (1), C4I Technology News (2)

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