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News | April 4, 2022

Tech team wins cybersecurity award

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

Defense Contract Management Agency employees from the Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Assessment Center recently won a Department of Defense award.

The Technical Directorate team was one of six groups that won the Cyber and IT Excellence Award in the team category.

“This award affirms our value to the Department of Defense and the defense industrial base,” said Matthew Lupone, executive director of the Technical Directorate.

The team’s nomination stated: “In recognition of the Herculean efforts to develop, direct, and adjust organizational focus to ever-changing real world situations while meeting the defense industrial base contractual requirements, the Defense Contract Management Agency Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Assessment Center is commended for continuing mission execution in precarious times and adapting methodologies to such without degrading the integrity of the assessments, all whilst continuing to coordinate and partner the efforts across the services and agencies. The team has shown great resiliency and dedication to mission and the department through their professionalism and innovation.”

The team consists of employees from various job series, including information technology specialists, and management and program analysts. Some of the employees are cyber security professionals, who hold IT certifications and maintain a wide range of background knowledge and expertise.

John Ellis, the Technical Directorate’s Software Division director, said he is proud of the DIBCAC team. Ellis said he and the previous DIBCAC director, Darren King, nominated the employees based on their hard work and effort throughout the pandemic. This is the first time the group has been recognized for their achievements at this level.

“To me, this award is a really big deal,” said Ellis. “First, recognition of DCMA for a major chief information officer award is atypical. We operate on the defense industrial base side of things, while most CIO awardees tend to focus on the government side of things. This award recognizes the DIBCAC’s unique capability and its contribution to DOD as a whole. The DIBCAC’s reputation, which is already widely known, is bolstered by this recognition.”

The DIBCAC performs several missions. One of the focus areas of DIBCAC is to assess the defense industrial base companies to ensure they are meeting contractually required cybersecurity standards. The team ensures the contractor has the ability to protect controlled unclassified information for government contracts they are awarded.

The DIBCAC is also a member of the government team establishing the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program to expand cyber assessment capabilities throughout the defense industrial base. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team created a virtual assessment method to allow assessments to continue ensuring mission requirements could still be met. The DIBCAC is also the Defense Department’s independent assessor of the defense industrial base on an as-needed basis.

“What the DIBCAC does is focus on holding the defense industrial base accountable,” said Ellis. “This enables those companies to produce products or provide services that are more cyber secure for the nation and our warfighters.”

Ellis said the team is a representation of the DCMA workforce that work to make sure its customers have the items and services they requested.

“The folks in the DIBCAC are truly extraordinary,” he said. “They are professionals of the highest order. The DIBCAC plays a major role defining the DOD’s efforts to secure the defense industrial base via policy input and then executing that evolving mission. The reputation earned by the DIBCAC’s professionals speaks volumes to the direction the department is going.”