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Retired one-star general to head new cyber company

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A service-disabled, veteran-owned small business is hoping to carve out a niche in an increasingly competitive cybersecurity market.

Reston-based Cybersalus is a partnership of John Kiehm, a former chief of staff of the Defense Intelligence Agency and chief executive of intelligence company SKC, and McLane Advanced Technologies, a logistics business run by Drayton McLane Jr. McLane will serve as a founding partner of Cybersalus.

Thomas Verbeck, a retired one-star general in the Air Force, will be president, and Kiehm will be chief executive.

Kiehm said Cybersalus plans to work with government customers as well as private sector companies, noting that the two tend to have the same kinds of problems and need similar solutions.

Verbeck said he expects Cybersalus to stand out from a growing field of companies that claim cybersecurity expertise.

“There are a lot of people that use the word ‘cyber’ ... and say that they’re doing it,” he said. But there are “few that have a very specific understanding and niche on how to deal with and how to respond to everything from day-to-day operations — how do you load and manage your networks — to the kind of security and insurance that you use.”

GAO skeptical of
enhanced-use leases

The Government Accountability Office reported last month that enhanced-use leases — or long-term leases of federal land or buildings to private or public sector companies — may not be as cost-effective as some agencies think.

In the report, the GAO said that some agencies are not including all of the costs associated with EULs when they evaluate their performance.

“Some EULs bring in large amounts of cash rent, such as the State Department’s $20.6 million Istanbul EUL and NASA’s $147.7 million EUL, but most EULs have much more modest benefits to the government where the costs could more easily outweigh the benefits,” the report said, noting that the average Department of Veterans Affairs enhanced-use lease earned about $25,000 in revenue last year.

The GAO recommended the Office of Management and Budget work with federal agencies to ensure agencies note all of the costs.

GAO rejects protest

The GAO denied a protest filed by Washington-based McKissack-URS Partners and Fairfax-based Facilities for the Future over a Labor Department award to District-based Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group.

The two companies had argued that Parsons unfairly benefited from hiring a former government employee as a consultant in the company’s pursuit of the contract. The GAO, however, sided with the contracting officer, who had determined that the information the former employee received from a previous procurement effort was “stale, and provided Parsons with no unfair competitive advantage,” according to the report.

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