Parsons Develops Innovative Tool

by Devin Elmore

Innovation is a core value at Parsons. We emphasize it throughout our business. We empower our talented staff and invest in their most promising ideas. We don’t always get it right and we are constantly working to improve our processes and help innovation flourish. We leveraged one recent idea to satisfy an internal requirement at a significant cost savings, while also generating a capability we will be able to leverage for future work, providing a platform for further innovation. Parsons is a full-scope cyber security and defensive cyber operations (DCO) solutions provider. Our talented staff run the gamut from designing and engineering custom systems and applications to integrating and supporting industry-standard products for our customers. We turned to these experts on our staff when we, like all contractors supporting the Department of Defense (DoD), had to take steps to ensure we are fully compliant with the minimum National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) controls required by the DoD’s cybersecurity regulations for safeguarding unclassified “controlled technical information” (CTI). Our team ultimately recommended we invest in developing a custom Network Security Monitoring (NSM) platform based on a variety of powerful open source capabilities and our experience implementing these solutions for our customers. We entertained a variety of off-the-shelf products and came to the conclusion that building our own in this case was a better value for us. Cyber security is a core part of our business. Our engineers and analysts are deeply involved in the development and engineering of capabilities in this domain for our customers. We accepted their recommendation, made the investment, and ParNSM (Parsons NSM) was born. ParNSM is a powerful, flexible, and highly customizable platform that meets a large number of the NIST controls referenced above. We have been using it on our own networks for more than a year now and have had great success. We implemented the required controls and saved more than 75% of the off-the-shelf price we would have paid for a comparable product/support package. This savings will become even more profound as we expand its use across our networks, especially in small office locations. Additionally, we now have a powerful platform for offering additional services to our customers and supporting further internal research and development.

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