NATO Signs Largest Contract to Date for Cyber Defence

On 8 March a ceremony at the NATO C3 Agency (NC3A) marked the award of the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability, Full Operational Capability contract. Once implemented, it will provide security on NATO’s networks and protect over 22,000 NATO military and civilians employees enhancing NATO’s cyber defence infrastructure and its ability to support member states.

At approximately 58 million Euro, it represents NATO’s largest investment to date in cyber defence.

In addition to protecting its own networks, the contract will strengthen NATO’s ability to support Allies in case of cyber attacks, when requested, with improved information sharing and strengthened rapid reaction teams.

“The NCIRC FOC project is a direct result of NATO nations’commitment to improve NATO’s capabilities to detect, assess, prevent, defend and recover in case of a cyber attack against systems of critical importance to the Alliance. This award is an essential step towards delivering these capabilities by the end of 2012,” said Ambassador Gabor Iklody, head of the Emerging Security Challenges Division at NATO HQ, the lead body for NATO cybe defence.

“NATO’s priorities are our priorities,” said NC3A General Manager Georges D’hollander, “This capability is one of the 11 critial capabilities agreed at NATO’s Lisbon Summit; the contract was launched in September 2011 and awarded in February. For such a complex capability it has broken all NC3A acquisition speed records and I thank all the staff involved. We now need to ensure timely implementation.”

The contractor will not only design, test, and install the cyber defence capabilities, but also provide the subsequent maintenance and support over a five year period.

Seven high-quality bids were received in an International Competition and evaluated using a “best value” evaluation approach whereby price and numerous technical factors were carefully rated. The successful bidder is Finmeccanica through SELEX Elsag and VEGA (based in the United Kingdom) together with its partner Northrup Grumman Corporation team.

Richard Cooper, SELEX ELSAG Project Manager, noted, “ We are proud to be selected for this important NATO project to robustly counter the ever increasing and sophisticated threat from cyber attack. The threats in cyberspace are continually evolving, and the NCIRC FOC project will deliver capabilities in various increments to significantly boost NATO’s abilities to face the evolving threats.”

The project scope includes the implementation of a robust infrastructure of improved cyber defence sensors and management tools, cyber defence decision support capabilities and mobile kits for Cyber Rapid Reaction Teams.

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