This week's Weekly Debrief covers a variety of issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including cybersecurity issues, DoD's guidance on repayments and prototyping, and GM's $490M Defense Production Act contract to build ventilators.
"The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued guidance this week directing the intelligence community to allow some contractor personnel to remain home in a “ready state” during the novel coronavirus outbreak. The guidance calls for “immediate implementation” of Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the $2 trillion stimulus package President Trump signedin late March."
"A growing number of cyber criminals and other malicious groups online are exploiting the COVID-19 outbreak for their own personal gain, security officials in the UK and USA have revealed. A joint advisory published today (April 8, 2020) by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) shows that cyber criminals and advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are targeting individuals and organizations with a range of ransomware and malware."
"The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released temporary guidance April 8 for federal network cybersecurity as a way to increase protections during the spike in telework from the coronavirus pandemic. CISA, an organization within the Department of Homeland Security tasked with securing federal networks, released its interim Trusted Internet Connection 3.0 telework guidance to address scenarios in which federal employees need to connect remotely to agency cloud environments."
"The Defense Department has launched a new cloud environment from Microsoft to support the surge of teleworkers that initially strained access to DOD networks a few weeks ago. The Commercial Virtual Remove (CVR) environment can handle “For Official Use Only” documents and is designed to support the military’s entire 4-million-strong workforce both at home and in military installations around the world. The platform is being rolled out across the services, with the Air Force saying it is onboarding 250,000 users daily through April."
"As part of its ongoing effort to bolster the defense industrial base, the Pentagon has issued two new pieces of guidance — one focused on workers, and one focused on prototype contracts. Overall, the department has now issued 17 different actions, ranging from basic guidance for industry to memos changing how the department pays contractors, since March 5. In an April 6 memo, acquisition head Ellen Lord changed the rules for issuing prototype contracts through other transaction authorities."
"General Motors has signed a federal contract worth nearly $490 million to build ventilators amid the coronavirus crisis, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed early Wednesday. The U.S. government said the deal was awarded under the Defense Production Act, which the president activated to press GM into manufacturing devices to help alleviate the shortage of personal protective equipment at hospitals treating COVID-19 patients."