Kennedy Space Center Getting Software, Security Refresh

Site: NIST.gov

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will upgrade its information technology system and change its cybersecurity measures across the board, a NASA official said. 

Mike Bolger, Kennedy’s chief information officer, said the agency is prioritizing the encryption of all laptops this year among other changes the agency is making at the space center, according to Federal News Radio. 

Inspector General Paul Martin told the House Science subcommittee on investigations and oversight that NASA suffered 5,000 computer security breaches in 2011.

One attack resulted in the loss of command codes for the International Space Station.

Martin attributes the breach and information loss to an unencrypted laptop that was stolen. 

Bolger said that part of the agency’s priority is to install hard disk encryption on laptops as well as access control using identity cards.

That activity falls under the Department of Homeland Security‘s Presidential Directive-12. 

The center is also undergoing a hardware refresh for its laptops and desktops through an enterprise services contract, which SAIC Inc. won the first award under for $321.2 million in September 2010. 

Bolger reported that the center is rolling out software updates for both Apple and Windows computers.

He said the agency will have to ensure third-party applications are suited for the new operating systems.

The center will also launch a pilot program that will allow employees to use their own devices on the network.

Bolger said the bring your own device initiative is in its early stages.

The center will test mobile device management tools, legal matters and whether employees will have better access to data through mobile devices, Bolger explained. 

Bolger said his office is also working to develop an architecture of their current data environment and how it will look in the future as well.

He expects that design to be finished in 2013, according to the report.  

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