CISA’s Connelly, GSA’s Russo Discuss Cross Agency Collaboration on EIS Vehicle

GSA General Services Administration

Jim Russo, technical director of the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) program at the General Services Administration (GSA), and Sean Connelly, program manager of Trusted Internet Connections at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), reflected this week on the continuous benefits of the EIS vehicle, and explained what each agency brought to the proposal.

At the July 16 Cybersmart 2020 event, Russo said that Connelly and his team helped GSA develop the cybersecurity requirements for the EIS vehicle. Now, cybersecurity is “in the center” of EIS requirements.

Connelly said that GSA recognizes “that there will always be new security technologies coming out,” and designed the EIS vehicle to quickly adopt those new security features as they are released. Through this effort and other facets of the EIS vehicle, Connelly said there’s more visibility across the whole system architecture for agencies to troubleshoot and optimize efficiencies during the transaction process.

During the pandemic, the benefits of certain EIS features have been put to the test. Russo said that agencies are trying to modernize while simultaneously keeping continuity of service. Including SD-WAN on the EIS vehicle, per Russo’s example, has helped agencies meet this goal.

“We put out a software defined wide area network service [SD-WAN] on our EIS contract. Not that we couldn’t do that before, but it’s a much easier way for agencies to see how these services might be provided now,” Russo said. “At the same time we’re trying to keep continuity of service, we’re also trying to modernize. You’re changing the wheels while the car’s rolling.”

Russo called SD-WAN a service “that we anticipated, but we didn’t define.” The EIS vehicle has the flexibility to add new capabilities, services, and solutions as tech advances, he asserted.

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