Internet Service Provider CenturyLink has won a multiyear contract worth up to $10.8 million dollars to fill gaps in a governmentwide firewall, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The deal was inked to complete a goal of making so-called EINSTEIN 3A network protections available to all civilian agencies by Dec. 31, a DHS official told Nextgov on Tuesday.
It also conforms to a sweeping cyber shape-up plan the White House launched in October, following an Office of Personnel Management hack that exposed background check records on 21.5 million Americans applying for access to classified materials and their families.
Right now, EINSTEIN 3A’s intrusion-blocking services are only offered to agencies receiving telecommunications services from CenturyLink, AT&T or Verizon. Agencies that connect to the Internet through Sprint, Level 3 or other providers are not protected.
CenturyLink now will secure those agencies that cannot obtain EINSTEIN 3A services from their ISPs.
“We’re the only provider authorized to offer E3A to federal civilian agencies where CenturyLink is not the Internet service provider,” company spokeswoman Linda Johnson said.
AT&T and Verizon will continue offering the services to their respective customers, the DHS official said.
CenturyLink’s EINSTEIN 3A program blocks suspicious domain names, filters out malicious email and looks for “signatures” of hacking activity, company officials said on Monday.
The Oct. 30 Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan indicated an award announcement was imminent.
“DHS has issued a contract action that will provide EINSTEIN 3A protections to participating agencies that are not covered by the ISPs…