Contractor adds cyber 'secret sauce' service to GSA schedule

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One of the U.S. government’s largest telecoms contractor has added the Department of Homeland Security’s Enhanced Cybersecurity Services product to its offering on GSA’s Schedule 70 contract vehicle for IT products and services, meaning federal, state and local agencies can easily buy it.

Enhanced Cybersecurity Services, or ECS, is a DHS program that allows internet and telecom providers to offer security services incorporating the NSA’s ‘secret sauce’ — threat signatures, network traffic patterns and other technical indicators that show hackers at work on a system.

CenturyLink, which provides internet and telecoms connectivity to many federal agencies, quietly added ECS to its offerings on Schedule 70 earlier this year, and announced it in a press release last month. The service is a modular or bolt-on offering, meaning it can be purchased even by customers who don’t get their connectivity from CenturyLink, and added to a competitor’s internet pipeline.

‘You do not need to be a CenturyLink network customer to use or provision the [ECS] service,’ company spokeswoman Linda Johnson told CyberScoop.

Schedule 70 is the federal government’s largest and most widely used acquisition vehicle — and state and local governments can also order off it through GSA’s Cooperative Purchasing Program.

CenturyLink was one of the first telecom and internet providers to offer ECS to private sector customers, and has been doing so since 2012, Johnson said. ECS provides users with advanced email filtering, domain name system blocking and signature-based intrusion prevention security services.

“Adding ECS to our IT Schedule 70 contract underscores our commitment to help state and local governments defend their networks against cyberattacks,’ said CenturyLink Senior Vice President and General Manager Tim Meehan.

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