Services and Solutions

Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC)

01
Software Development
Defense Health Agency (DHA) and Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Join Forces with TIAG to Revolutionize Military Health with Advanced IT Innovations
Customer Mission

The collective mission of the Defense Health Agency (DHA), and the Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic’s (NIWC) Defense Health IT Division is to modernize and enhance the Military Health System (MHS) Information Platform (MIP) and work together to enhance the overall health and well-being of service members and their families by creating a more robust, resilient, and innovative health information system.

Challenge

NIWC and its industry partners faced significant hurdles in ramp-up time for developers, particularly during the initial creation of an application within the MHS MIP environment. The excessive lag time between application creation and subsequent development presented a critical issue that NIWC needed to address. NIWC aimed to automate and standardize application development to accelerate project timelines and improve access to patient-centric data. The goal was to enable developers to quickly and efficiently create applications from the ground up, ensuring they were set up for success when starting development within the MIP.

Solution

TIAG leveraged its proven DevSecOps approach to revolutionize application development by creating the Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK streamlined and standardized the tech stack, solutions, and methodologies for real-time data connectivity and continuous improvement across all aspects of NIWC’s application development to ensure efficient delivery of high-quality, patient-centric applications while prioritizing security, continuous integration, and deployment by developing. Many initiatives and tools were leveraged throughout the SDK’s development lifecycle including:

  • Culture of transparency and collaboration. Our approach to DevSecOps infuses human-centered design throughout every development lifecycle phase. We started by breaking down silos between development, security, and operations teams and assembling a diverse, multi-layered team to develop a proof of concept for enterprise packaging and container-ready patient-level data endpoints in the development environment (AVHE LABS). This collaborative approach ensured that all stakeholders were aligned in their goals, promoting continuous information sharing and expertise across the teams.
  • Continuous integration and deployment pipeline. The team leveraged the latest tech stack, including .Net Core, to modernize and standardize the MIP environment. This enabled the acquisition of multi-platform applications that can be integrated into the MIP, streamlining continuous integration and deployment processes. It also accelerated release cycles – new features, updates, and security patches were quickly implemented with strong security postures, and NIWC could be sure deployments were reliable across all environments.
  • Automated version control. The SDK’s automated setup featured standardized and platform-agnostic technology stacks, reusable application packages, and pipelines. This approach facilitated faster project completion without compromising quality, rapid code validation, management, and integration, and enhanced change management tracking. The SDK leverages nPm and NuGet package pipelines to standardize the use of JavaScript, creating a reusable solution with an internal artifact repository as a trusted source of truth. 
  • Fully integrated and automated security checks, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and regulatory compliance processes were included in the development lifecycle to ensure security was embedded at every phase, allowing for faster identification and mitigation of potential security risks.
  • Robust monitoring and feedback. The team developed a series of downloadable and reusable VUE.js-based user-interface components for developers to use in new or existing MIP applications and sites. The pre-styled components were easily customizable and designed to fast-track the development of aesthetically pleasing interfaces. This approach improved coordination and development across teams and provided robust, real-time insights and monitoring capabilities to improve adjustments, security, and overall user experience continuously.
  • Comprehensive resources. We worked diligently to provide NIWC and external developers with comprehensive resources, including a library of materials on dashboard registration stocked with getting-started tutorials, dashboard templates, workbooks, and more organized by application. This wealth of information enabled NIWC to quickly customize application tools, supporting automated checks, scans, and compliance processes.

By encouraging and supporting frequent code check-ins, version control, sensible test automation, continuous low-risk releases, and feedback, TIAG achieved substantial gains in security issue detection through threat modeling, code reviews, and red teaming.

Result

“WOW, I am really impressed. I am just amazed at what the team has been able to accomplish in this Fiscal Year.” Lt Col Easter, Major Constantine, DHA

 

TIAG’s implementation of the SDK transformed the development and deployment of applications within the MIP environment, resulting in key wins for NIWC:

  • Reduced Lag Time: TIAG addressed NIWC’s mission-critical issue of excessive lag time between application creation and development, expediting the development process and accelerating project timelines.
  • Standardized Tech Stack: The SDK provided an automated setup with a standardized, platform-agnostic technology stack, including reusable application packages and pipelines. This enabled MIP application development and allowed for substantial reductions in the labor hours typically spent on foundational development efforts.
  • Enhanced Scalability and Compliance: TIAG ensured scalability and compliance with the MIP Style Guide and 508 standards, paving the way for improved efficacy, cost savings, and successful case studies.
  • Automated and Streamlined Development: The SDK standardizes the use of JavaScript by employing nPm and NuGet package pipelines from an internal artifact repository, creating an all-in-one reusable solution. This provided access to patient-centric microservice architecture of endpoints using standard JSON messaging.
  • Expanded Reach and Capabilities: TIAG’s approach enabled multi-platform integration, allowing non-Windows teams to access the platform and creating an additional revenue stream for the DHA. This enhanced reach and capabilities pave the way for continued success.
  • Developer Empowerment and Innovation: The SDK included a comprehensive library of resources such as tutorials, dashboard templates, and workbooks, empowering developers with tools to customize and streamline applications according to user needs.
  • Progressive Web App Support: The SDK contained API modules for creating applications that conform to DHA mobile app standards, such as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). This flexibility enables the development of native Android or iOS apps using frameworks like Cordova.
  • Modernized and Agile Development: TIAG’s solution enabled developers to work more efficiently and creatively, resulting in a groundbreaking approach that supports further innovation in the industry.

The SDK provided NIWC with the tools and resources needed to transform the MIP development process. The approach not only facilitated faster timelines and improved efficiency but also set the stage for sustained success and growth across the DHA’s MIP environment.

02
TIAG Delivers Transformative Solutions to Support the Largest Data and Cloud Migration in DoD History
TIAG Delivers Transformative Solutions to Support the Largest Data and Cloud Migration in DoD History
Customer Mission

The Defense Health Agency (DHA), Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic (NIWC), and Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) collectively strive to ensure the efficiency, security, and effectiveness of critical military healthcare systems. With a focus on engineering and program management, these organizations aim to enhance the Military Health System (MHS) Information Platform (MIP) Data Warehouse. Their mission is to seamlessly migrate and manage this vital infrastructure, ensuring its reliability, accessibility, and compliance with stringent security standards. By providing robust engineering and program management support, they enable the seamless operation and optimization of healthcare data systems essential for supporting military personnel and their families.

Challenge

The DHA, NIWC, and NAVWAR required engineering and program management support ) in order to migrate the MHS MIP Data Warehouse to the Cloud and reduce hardware and software technology costs and mitigate the vulnerability of aging equipment. TIAG was contracted to ensure the systems and solutions implemented were standardized, interoperable, integrated.

Solution

“Through this successful government cloud transformation, the team has contributed to the cloud as a fundamental component of the global infrastructure that will empower the warfighter with data and provide improved decision making at the highest levels of the DoD related to the operational readiness of the military forces.” Division director for the Defense Health Information Technology (DHIT) Division’s Health Systems Security Engineering

 

Working together with other industry partners, we spearheaded the largest data and Cloud migration in DoD history with a groundbreaking and collaborative “Team of Teams” approach referred to as the Accelerated Migration Project (AMP) team that consisted of three NIWC Integrated Product Teams, three DHA divisions, Program Executive Office (PEO) Defense Health Management Systems (DHMS), multiple solutions, and numerous industry partners. Our team brought together a wide range of expertise, including AWS cloud integration, MIP solution architecture, systems engineering, software development and testing, big data management, cybersecurity, communications, and DOD healthcare project management. Together, we delivered a transformative solutions with a strategic and systematic approach that included:

  • We took the DHA’s Knowledge eXchange Collaboration Portal (KxCP) application to the next level with a successful proof-of-concept migration to AWS GovCloud. KxCP, a cutting-edge SharePoint-based solution, empowers users to securely collaborate and share essential documents, materials, and guidance with field counterparts. And with forms-based authentication, .mil and .com accessibility, and compatibility with DOD CAC and PIV cards, it’s trusted and utilized around the world by the Army, Navy, USAF, USMC, and the VA. By becoming the first DHA application accredited and deployed in AWS GovCloud under IL4 cybersecurity, KxCP set a new standard for innovation and security.
  • AMP stood up the entire MIP data center in AWS GovCloud within just 16 weeks from the official start. We partnered with NIWC, DHA, and other DoD components, as well as AWS Professional Services and external software providers, to create advanced solution architectures for four Virtual Private Cloud’s (VPC’s). These cloud architectures spanned multiple accreditation boundaries and included numerous AWS Security Groups. We collaborated with AWS to set up initial EC2 instances for the MIP pre-production environment and utilized S3 buckets for data storage. To simplify resource provisioning, we developed and deployed CFTs and employed AWS Snowball devices for secure data transfer to AWS-hosted resources.
  • In tandem with the AWS GovCloud migration, we transitioned the on-premises infrastructure. This included optimizing and migrating over 60 MIP applications and solutions, compressing data (creating an 85% reduction in storage space) , implementing DHA’s new enterprise Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) and Help Desk, revamping Role Based Access Control (RBAC) policies, reengineering business processes, and switching from a CapEx funding model to an OpEx model to reduce costs. The transition and all systems testing happened over weekends and in the background to avoid any disruptions to the MIP user community.
  • Migrated all MIP physical servers from the on-prem data center to AWS EC2 instances in GovCloud – resulting in a 61% reduction in our total footprint. This not only eliminated all government-owned and operated hardware and data center real estate, it also saved considerable technical refresh costs for the over 300 on-prem servers scheduled for priority technology refresh. We assisted NIWC and DHA in obtaining approvals for 14 AWS CNS within the DHA AWS ecosystem to support new capabilities and ensure users can utilize next-generation solutions, such as machine learning and natural language processing, to enhance analytics capabilities and ensure semantic interoperability with EHRs.
  • Achieved four Rapid Authorization to Operate (ATO) from DHA officials within just four months by creating and organizing technical and cybersecurity materials. Developed secure MIP and MHS PaaS Cloud enclaves with cutting-edge detection and protection tools to ensure hosted solutions operated at the highest security levels – making the MIP Cloud the first DHA product to operate at this heightened security level. We advanced the authentication and authorization processes for MIP and MHS PaaS VPCs and completed planned cybersecurity activities across four VPCs – scanning 100% of assets to identify and mitigate CAT 1 vulnerabilities for environments accredited at IL4.
  • Developed and accredited a separate VPC for MHS PaaS – a development platform created exclusively to host critical DHA solutions, including the upgraded Agile Core Services Data Access Layer (ACS DALv3.0). With Red Hat OpenShift containerization, an automated and rigorous DevSecOps integration process, and multiple check gates for quality assurance and quality control – new or revised code can be deployed at record speeds. Powered by an OpenShift enterprise container environment, MHS PaaS provides dynamic scaling, auto-provisioning of resources, continuous monitoring, and protection against cybersecurity threats – all while using trusted software like SharePoint, Visual Studio, and JavaScript to create user-friendly websites and portals.
Result

“The migration was the fastest move of an environment to the cloud in the federal government to date. No previous cloud migration efforts within the federal government have matched the enormous scope, scale, and complexities of the MHS Information Platform migration, making this effort an original pioneering effort in cloud transformation.” NIWC Atlantic AMP team project lead

 

Together, our “Team of Teams” accelerated the migration of the MHS MIP to AWS GovCloud from 21 months of work into 16 weeks – an 84% reduction in schedule. The transition took just 93 days and all solutions were accredited and operational in AWS GovCloud more than one year in advance of the initial target date. This was also the fastest migration of its kind in AWS history. The team was nominated for the 2020 DoD Software Innovation Team Award and received the following awards: the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) Innovation Award for Business Model or Process; NIWC Atlantic Lightning Bolt Award for Team Excellence; sponsor-funded NIWC Atlantic You Made A Difference Award; FedHealthIT100 Award; and the 2020 G2Xchange Disruptive Tech Award, recognizing federal leaders, innovators, game changers and disruptors who are leading and transforming federal information technology.

03
Cybersecurity + Information Assurance
TIAG Helps Navy Shore Up Cybersecurity Infrastructure Across the World
Customer Mission

Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) is responsible for the U.S. Navy’s worldwide shore installation management. As the Navy’s shore integrator, CNIC designs and develops integrated solutions for sustainment and development of Navy shore infrastructure. With more than 53,000 military and civilian personnel worldwide across 10 regions, 71 installations, and 123 Naval Operations Support Centers, CNIC is responsible for the operations, maintenance and quality of life programs to support the Navy’s Fleet, Fighters, and Families.

Challenge

Being accountable for over 90 systems varying from a few to a thousand components in size, CNIC must direct, guide, and coordinate with each of the system owners regarding cybersecurity activities. They are required to report status and set priorities at the Echelon II level. When authorizations for several systems expired, they needed a partner to support this effort.

Solution

In support of the contract, TIAG’s team of cybersecurity experts was tasked to authorize the systems located worldwide that vary in size and complexity by maintaining and modernizing the infrastructure to enhance the ability to perform core missions. Through the assessments and authorization process, we are able to identify and report higher security risk areas to CNIC and Navy authorities, which leads to updating and upgrading older technologies. Our team’s combined experience of over 170 years enabled us to execute the tasks in an expeditious and efficient manner. We recommended setting up processes that measured progress quantitatively and anticipated shortcomings, which were addressed proactively. TIAG developed an event-based schedule and resource tracker for the team to support the 6-step RMF activities.

Result

In less than six months, CNIC received authorization for five systems and are on the verge of completing six more in the next couple of months due to the process in place and team of cyber professionals. The graphical view of the resource tracker allows us to easily adjust by augmenting any over-burdened team member. NIWC and CNIC customers have repeatedly praised our accomplishments so much so that they asked us to supplement some of their duties. We continue to improve our way of conducting business.

04
Data Analytics
TIAG provides worldwide enterprise health information technology solutions across the Military Health System
Customer Mission

The mission of NIWC is to deliver information warfare solutions that protect national security across communication systems, networking systems, cyber operations, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, business systems, and information security.

Challenge

When MHS governance reform made integrated, standardized, and shared Health IT an imperative, NIWC–Atlantic required a partner that could provide stalwart engineering support and real-time intelligence across the DHA’s Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) and their associated medical departments and organizations.

Solution

Tailoring our approach and solutions specifically to the combined missions of NIWC and DHA, TIAG provided a full suite of support across business intelligence, clinical intelligence systems engineering, data modeling and integration, health registries systems engineering, information assurance, systems engineering, systems integration, and systems testing for NIWC’s Medical Information Delivery Integrated Project Team. We developed and operated secure applications for analysis and research, dashboards, data collection, and reporting tools. We maintained and modernized their systems and database, provided analytics, training, and help desk support, and added a BI content gallery that promoted content delivery, transparency, and user collaboration across the DHA and VA enterprise. In support of the Clinical Intelligence Systems Engineering task, we provided Health Information Technology subject matter expertise and engineering support, and we advised and assisted system lifecycle management in support of MHS clinical intelligence mission objectives. As a component of clinical information system planning and design, we helped evaluate functional requirements and end user needs and conducted business process and data flow analysis. We also developed applications and dashboards that integrated with the Health Services Data Warehouse (HSDW), and we provided a complete publishing environment for the timely distribution of information to the field, improving decision-making processes while optimizing performance.

Result

Our work with the NIWC had a positive impact on more than 100,000 users across 15 custom medical application web portals and Business Intelligence (BI) tools used by more than 300 MTFs and clinics. This work directly helped the DHA achieve its mission to lead the MHS integration of readiness and health to increase readiness, improve health, better care, and lower costs.