While the Defense Information Systems Agency already handles an immensely important dossier, their portfolio and mission will change, according to Maj. Gen. Sarah Zabel, the agency's vice director. Zabel briefed members of industry during DISA's annual Forecast to Industry event in Baltimore on Nov. 17.

The new work that has come to DISA's doorstep recently includes:

  • The DoD cyber range: Zabel said DISA is building out the DoD Information Network (DoDIN) lab to replicate the entire DoDIN in-house to make sure the impact of decisions are understood before a product or change rolls out.
  • Joint Service Provider: Zabel also noted that DISA is taking on the Joint Service Provider, which is the organization that provides IT services for most of the Pentagon. This will be important as more services fall under the Joint Services Provider, she said, adding that this year is a transition year but next year, FY18, all Pentagon organizations will be under DISA.
  • Background check database: Following the OPM breach, DISA was tasked with building the new IT for the background investigations for the government. "We are enthusiastically pursuing that right now," Zabel said.
  • Mobility: Zabel said DISA is making strides in classified mobility, a growing area. She also said that they have put a lot of focus on mobility to make sure that every service they support, where it’s appropriate, has a way to go mobile. "How does that service go mobile," she asked rhetorically noting DISA must adequately support each unique mission of the services. In terms of classified capability, DISA’s director, Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, said earlier this month at the MilCom conference that DISA is currently working with the Boeing Black phone for top-secret capability and access.
  • JFHQ-DoDIN: "Last time I was here, I said we had just stood up JFHQ-DoDIN," Zabel said. "They are still maturing that organization, and it is an essential link between Cyber Command and the services" to ensure there is command and control of all their defensive measures and how they operate their networks.