7-21-15 – XLA Announces New Expanded Reach for GlobalCorps Expertise

Tysons Corner, Virginia (July 21, 2015) – XLA announced today that it is expanding its GlobalCorps service offering to other Federal Government agencies and non-government organizations

GlobalCorps has been used by XLA to help the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) identify and acquire individual contract employees known as Personal Services Contractors (PSCs). XLA is now opening up its 20 years of PSC acquisition experience to other Federal agencies, and its community of specially-skilled people to non-government organizations who are seeking people with expertise in humanitarian assistance and international development.

There is no other company with XLA’s skills and experience in managing the entire Personal Services Contractor acquisition process. Government agencies with the authority to acquire PSCs generally do it so infrequently that it’s like writing with their opposite hand. No company knows PSCs like XLA knows PSCs, and we can make any agency’s PSC acquisition process more efficient.

XLA has built a 12,000-person community featuring individuals with specialized skills in Humanitarian Assistance and International Development. For any non-government organization seeking people for international development assignments, GlobalCorps is a ready resource to streamline its search process.

“With our 20 years of experience and our unique GlobalCorps community, XLA has the ability to reach potential candidates in the Humanitarian Assistance and International Development community better than anyone else.” Lloyd Mustin, Founder of XLA said. “We know where and how to identify these hard-to-find people, and we can add value to virtually any organization’s recruiting process in these specialized areas.”

The XLA GlobalCorps team has developed unique tools and templates that can help any government agency improve the efficiency of its PSC acquisition process.

To learn more about GlobalCorps, visit www.xla.com/globalcorps, or call (703) 848-0400.

XLA is a leading provider of program and systems lifecycle management, financial management, engineering and technical solutions, and international program-support services to the Federal government. XLA has more than 24 years of experience supporting mission-critical requirements for Federal agencies. XLA is a portfolio company of The Halifax Group.

7-17-15 – xTract News – Calls to Deploy Einstein 3 Accelerated (E3A) Faster – But are you ready?

Calls to Deploy Einstein 3 Accelerated (E3A) Faster – But are you ready?

At recent hearings, government officials called for more rapid deployment of E3A to help better secure government networks. But are Federal agencies really prepared for E3A?

The recent data breach that exposed the personal records of millions of government officials has spurred calls for greater information security across all Federal Agencies. To detect intrusions to government networks, DHS has developed a detection system known as Einstein. Einstein prevents government users from unwittingly accessing high-risk websites that are either known or likely threats. These high-risk websites in many cases appear to be innocent websites to the user, but quickly transmit embedded viruses that can immediately replicate across government systems and computers.   In response to the recent data breaches there are now calls to implement the latest version of Einstein – Einstein 3 Accelerated (E3A) – as quickly as possible.

Until recently, users and agency information security officials were not informed when Einstein was preventing access to high-risk websites. With E3A, however, U.S. Government agencies will now receive notices that agency staff were about to access a high-risk website, potentially putting systems at risk.   The value of knowing, however, also presents a new challenge for these agency security officials.

Under E3A, notices are automatically submitted to an E3A email inbox set up by agency officials. These notices provide specific, but cryptic data about the threat. Experience has shown that when implemented, E3A email notices can number in the tens of thousands – per day.

Manage E3A Through xTract

XLA has worked with a Federal Agency to manage its implementation of E3A, experiencing the challenges first hand. Even a small to mid-sized agency receives thousands of E3A notices that quickly clog the designated email inbox. Not every notice, however, is a threat. The big challenge is determining the real threats among the thousands of notices received each day.

To manage all of the E3A notices, XLA developed a tool called xTractTM. xTract automatically ingests the thousands of E3A email notices and analyzes them in order to identify the few actual incidents. Agency officials can then generate work tickets to resolve specific problems or threats at the source.

By shrinking the flood of E3A notices to just a few actionable incidents, the challenge is reduced to a manageable size. Government officials can identify the threat, mitigate the threat, and develop policies or protocols to prevent a reoccurrence.

Is Your Agency Ready for E3A? – The xTract E3A Readiness Diagnostic

When an agency subscribes to the E3A service, thousands of email notices will immediately overwhelm the operations team. To meet this challenge, it must be proactively managed, not ignored. With the xTract “E3A Diagnostic” agencies can take the first step towards managing the E3A challenge.

XLA has taken its experience and developed a stand-alone xTract “E3A Diagnostic” to help IT security officials in U.S. Government agencies understand the scope of their challenge and prepare before implementation. The xTract E3A Diagnostic quickly allows agency security experts to develop plans and better manage the influx of thousands of E3A notices. Following the 4-week xTract E3A Diagnostic, agencies will better understand the number of email notices they will likely receive, the likely network operations impact from these notices, and the staffing requirements needed to identify and mitigate threats identified by E3A.

To learn more about xTract, visit www.xla.com/xtract. To schedule a meeting to learn more about the xTract “E3A Diagnostic” contact XLA at xtract@xla.com.

xTract extends the capabilities of the Government’s Einstein 3A threat reduction tool by helping Federal agencies manage the millions of notices generated by Einstein 3A, and take action on specific network threats or malware. But how does it work? This infographic walks you through the key information.

7-14-15 – xTract News – XLA Announces New Cyber-Threat Mitigation Solution

xTract Identifies Specific Threats to Government Networks

Vienna, Virginia (July 14, 2015) – Vienna-based XL Associates, Inc. (XLA) today announced the launch of its new cyber-threat mitigation solution called xTractTM. xTract extends the capabilities of the Government’s Einstein 3 Accelerated (E3A) threat reduction tool by helping Federal agencies manage the millions of notices generated by E3A, and take action on specific network threats or malware.

“In the wake of the OPM data breach, agencies are looking for better ways to identify and mitigate IT security threats,” said Gary Slack, President of XLA. “The government is relying on E3A to accomplish this, but E3A only solves half the problem – it stops known threats. xTract is the solution to solve the other half of the problem – it helps agencies find and eradicate previously unknown threats on their networks.”

Under the US-CERT E3A program, a Federal agency will receive a notice that E3A identified a threat and prevented the threat from infecting the agency’s IT network. The notice, however, does not identify the specific threat or where within the agency the threat originated. E3A will generate hundreds or even tens of thousands of notices to the agency each day. It’s up to agency officials to sort through these notices and identify the specific threats so they can take appropriate action to clean their systems and prevent it from reoccurring.   The work can be daunting.

xTract takes the tens of thousands of notices generated by E3A each day, and shrinks them to just a few prioritized incidents. xTract quickly and easily identifies a threat, enables agencies to mitigate the threat, and helps officials develop policies or programs to prevent a reoccurrence of the threat.

“This is a real breakthrough for any Federal agency required to activate Einstein 3A,” Slack said. “The natural human reaction is to turn off the hundreds or thousands of notices piling up every hour, but that won’t clean the system or make the threat go away. The only responsible solution for an agency is to manage the notices, which is exactly what xTract does.”

To better prepare agencies for E3A, XLA has taken its experience and developed a stand-alone “xTract E3A Diagnostic” to help Federal IT security officials understand the scope of their challenge before implementing E3A. The “xTract E3A Diagnostic” is a quick way for agency security experts to develop plans and better prepare to manage the influx of thousands of E3A notices.

To learn more about xTract, visit www.xla.com/xtract or call (703) 848-0400.