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With 2023 well underway, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has begun to focus on its 2024 budget request, with a major restructuring on the horizon. For the past 15-20 years, CISA has been utilizing, and continuously developing, the National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS), more commonly known as EINSTEIN, to defend federal agency networks since the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inception in 2003. While parts of EINSTEIN will remain, CISA plans to transition its predominantly detection-based system, into a more analytical approach known as the “Cyber Analytics and Data System,” or CADS for short.

Per the DHS’ 2024 proposed budget, CISA plans to transition NCPS’ “intrusion detection and intrusion prevention capabilities,” into its new CADS program. The program will “provide tools and capabilities to facilitate the ingestion and integration of data as well as orchestrate and automate the analysis of data that supports the rapid identification, detection, mitigation, and prevention of malicious cyber activity,” all of which contributes to the defense of the Federal Government’s information technology infrastructure from cyber threats.

In an interview with Federal News Network, CISA’s executive assistant director for cyber security, Eric Goldstein, elaborated on additional features the new CADS system will wield in the pursuit of data security. To start, the system will integrate data from “public and commercial data feeds; CISA’s own sensors such as Endpoint detection and Response, Protective , and our Vulnerability Scanning service, which has thousands of enrolled organizations across the country; and data shared by both public and private partners,” said Goldstein. CADS will also allow for greater efficiency and better analysis of data as it’s single repository for data removes the needs for analysts to manually compare data and threat information stored in different systems, as is done in the current environment.

As data security advances, so too do the threats to the Federal Government’s information technology infrastructure. Now more than ever, it is essential for data security to forge ahead in the race of advancement in order to edge out malicious threats. CADS, described as a “system of systems” will provide CISA with a central data security hub that allows for additional software development, succinct data analysis, and an agile environment that supports the rapidly expanding agency.

Contractors which specialize in cybersecurity should be on the lookout for proposals from CISA for assistance with the new CADS system after September 2023.

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