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DISA hosts successful workshop to improve JRSS capabilities

by Tracy Sharpe
DISA Strategic Communication and Public Affairs

The Defense Information Systems Agency Joint Regional Security Stack Portfolio Management Office hosted a JRSS Tools Rationalization Workshop Dec. 10-12.

Attendees spent the time assessing current JRSS tools, exploring opportunities to improve training and knowledge management and sharing ideas among the joint community. 

Throughout the three-day workshop held in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, attendees discussed how to improve the security posture for the Department of Defense, optimize the JRSS architectural footprint and simplify training needs.

“Including the joint community in the planning and development of this critical cybersecurity system is a priority,” said JRSS Portfolio Manager Air Force Col. Veronica Smith.

More than 30 subject matter experts with JRSS technical, operational and security experience participated in the discussions. Representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, as well as representatives from Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, and DoD Chief Information Officer, participated in the three-day event.

“I'm glad I had the opportunity to have face-to-face conversations with personnel from DISA, DOT&E, JFHQ-DODIN and key Navy JRSS operators,” said Navy Tenth Fleet Cyber Enterprise Architecture and Solutions Information Technology Specialist David Gurulé.

JRSS is a regional deployment of equipment suites that enable DoD cyber defenders to continuously monitor and analyze the Department of Defense Information Network and minimize the effects of cyber threats, while ensuring the integrity, availability and confidentiality of data. Each suite of equipment in JRSS performs firewall functions, intrusion detection and prevention, enterprise management, virtual routing and forwarding and provides a host of other network security and monitoring capabilities.

"The JRSS is the most critical near-term element of DoD’s Joint Information Environment,” stated Jeffrey Del Vecchio, the DoD CIO JRSS lead. “It is imperative that JRSS is operationally effective, secure and sustainable. This workshop addressed all three of these criteria by analyzing the proper tools the end-users need, alignment with the DoD CIO Cyber Security strategy, and where duplication in network management capabilities can be reduced.”

Many U.S. military locations have already migrated to JRSS Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network capabilities, with other migrations ongoing or scheduled.

As migrations to JRSS progress, user input provides key information for the Portfolio Management Office to re-evaluate which elements best address the joint environment.

“This event is instrumental in identifying tools necessary to operationalize JRSS and enhance our ability to standardize training and tactics, techniques, and procedures to operate the JRSS,” said JFHQ-DODIN Future Operations Division Chief, Air Force Col. Clifton Durham.

“This workshop provided a great opportunity for the architects and engineers, who design, and maintain, JRSS, to interact directly with representatives from the user community,” said DISA’s JRSS Architecture and Engineering Branch Chief Joseph Smail. “It was a chance to get their feedback on how the tools and capabilities we provide are working and used in the field. This will help us to deliver a more effective set of capabilities as we optimize and evolve JRSS going forward.”

Breakout sessions focused on mission sets including network operations and defensive cyber operations. The in-person attendees’ conversations improved their understanding of the JRSS capabilities. The discussions amongst the user community provided the PMO staff key information that will improve the training and knowledge-sharing aspects of JRSS.  

“This initial JRSS Tools Rationalization Workshop is the first of many opportunities to gain JRSS operators and security professional’s insight of the existing capabilities,” said Smith. “The next step is to continue working with the JRSS community to deliver an actionable strategy for improving processes, revamping training and delivering capabilities in a timely and efficient manner.”

For more information, the JRSS team can be reached via email.



Posted January 10, 2020