Versa’s SD-WAN, zero-trust security serve Defense Information Systems Agency

Versa Networks today said the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is using Versa’s software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), zero trust access security and customer edge security stack (CESS) technology for Thunderdome.

Thunderdome is a suite of IT and security technologies that DISA uses for itself and also to support its Defense Department clients.

Versa’s technologies are bundled with other products as part of a $1.86 billion DISA contract won by Booz Allen Hamilton in July.

Imran Umar, vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton, said Booz Allen selected Versa’s technologies because they embrace modularity to prevent vendor lock-in, and they integrate well with existing DISA assets.

“If DISA has existing solutions in place, we don’t want to rip and replace,” said Umar. “We want to make sure whatever we deploy does not lock in the customer. It was important the products we selected had modularity.”

Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks, said Versa is pretty much delivering all the functions of a unified secure access service edge (SASE).

Versa’s SD-WAN will provide software-defined routing across the Defense Information System Network sites. And Versa’s CESS functions will deliver next-generation firewall and on-premises conditional access services.

Versa also brings micro-segmentation and conditional access. Ahuja said with conditional access employees only get access to the applications that they’re authorized to get, and the software continually checks end-user devices and the behavior of the user for anything unusual.

Umar said, “For the DoD the threats are changing. The way our customers access data is changing. Our security paradigm needs to change. The key piece here is we are taking an innovative solution and implementing it at the DOD at scale.

Booz Allen has been piloting the products it chose for the Thunderdome implementation, but those pilots have now concluded, and are live and in production. Versa is only just now able to talk about its participation in the DISA contract due to non-disclosure requirements.