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CECOM Software Repository Facilitates Faster Cyber Patching Among Army Units

Software patching


CECOM Software Repository Facilitates Faster Cyber Patching Among Army Units

A new software repository from the Army Communications-Electronics Command is streamlining the service’s distribution of cyber patches and giving officials insights on which units are downloading them.

The one-stop software shop enables CECOM to ensure that command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems under its purview are protected from cyber threats.

According to Jennifer Swanson, director of CECOM’s Software Engineering Center, patches and software updates were previously sent to service units through CDs via mail, FedScoop reported.

As a result, units were getting inundated with discs and cyber patches were being installed late, Swanson told attendees at AFCEA International’s TechNet Augusta conference.

With the new software repository, she estimated that CECOM now sees a monthly average of 3,500 downloads for 76 software systems.

Citing the previous SolarWinds Orion hack, Swanson noted that units had downloaded the update for the compromised network monitoring tool within the same day it was posted. 

“We were able to turn the patch around very quickly … we were able to put it right up on the repo and we were watching units downloading it,” she said.

CECOM started working on the software repository in 2019 and launched a pilot program in 2020. The e-patching initiative was created to improve Army software readiness, with a focus on ensuring that units are ready to fight and win in the 21st century.

The 101st Airborne Division served as the pioneer users of the repository during the two-week pilot conducted in July 2020.

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