nato cyber security
The new Nato headquarters, currently under construction

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is planning to spend more than $3 billion on cyber security as well as command and control systems over the next three years, according to a report in Defense News

The single biggest contract being formulated is for satellite communications, and it will cost approximately half of the total $3.2 billion earmarked for expenditure.

In an interview with Defense News, Peter Scaruppe, director of acquisition for the Nato Communications and Information Agency, says one particular area of spending growth is “functional services”.

These include:

  • IT infrastructure for Nato’s new headquarters, scheduled to open this year;
  • connecting up locations for Nato’s forward-based operations, such as those in Poland; and
  • joint procurement of software.

“Software has been procured for Nato through common-funded financing; that means all 28 nations chip into a project, then the nation can use the software for a national purpose without having to buy it again because it’s been paid for by Nato already,” says Scaruppe, who adds that the defence alliance is looking to broaden the range of companies which bid for contracts.

“We need to make it easy on the smaller companies. A lot of them don’t want to deal with us because of too much red tape and administration, and an intergovernmental installation like we are tends to have more red tape than a national government,” says Scaruppe.

He adds that many smaller firms are reluctant to share intellectual property rights with the Nato governments.

In order to broaden its supplier base, Nato is holding its annual conference outside Europe for the first time, in Ottawa, Canada.

Meanwhile, in the civilian arena, Booz Allen has won a contract worth $326 million from the US General Services Administration, according to a report on GovConWire.com.

The GSA is an independent agency of the US government which helps manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies, providing products and communications for government offices, transportation and office space, and so on.

The Booz Allen contract covers:

  • the aggregation and dissemination of operational data;
  • technology and intelligence in response to emerging threats;
  • DevOps-based pathway in support of Jido IT capabilities; and
  • rapid acquisition support for combatant commands to help counter terrorism, insurgencies and improvised explosive devices.

Jido is a building automation and management software platform which can be used for residential and commercial applications, but the US government looks to have developed a custom version which is likely more secure.

The expected completion date of the contract is early March, 2022.

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