The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) announced an extension of its Thunderdome Prototype zero trust security project, increasing the total length of the pilot program to 12 months with a new  expected completion date in January 2023.

DISA announced the six-month extension on July 22 of its Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with Booz Allen Hamilton, which is charged with executing the zero trust security model to leverage commercial technologies like Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Software Defined-Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN).

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“This extension allows us additional time to better control the overall risk of deploying zero trust capabilities, prior to deployment,” said Jason Martin, director of DISA’s Digital Capabilities and Security Center. “With this additional time, we can conduct operational and security testing that was not originally planned for in the initial pilot. It will also permit us the necessary time to strategize on the best way to transition current Joint Regional Security Stacks users who will be moving to Thunderdome.”

DISA noted that last year the agency opted to phase out the Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) and transition to a new zero trust security and network architecture. The Thunderdome extension will also provide more to plan for the transition JRSS users will face when migrated to the enterprise-wide offering of Thunderdome.

Additionally, DISA said the six-month extension will allow it more time to expand the Thunderdome pilot to include the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network and “complete development, testing and deployment planning for the original unclassified prototype.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.