NASA divides security duties
- By Bryant Jordan
- Nov 08, 2000
NASA has created an office to oversee security, but the new Office of Security
Management and Safeguards will assume responsibility for only a portion
of the space agency's computer operations.
Security for most of NASA's computers will remain with the agency's
chief information officer in order to ensure that systems remain programmed
for optimal mission performance.
Computer security is so closely connected with the carrying out of information
technology missions that the agency felt it could not be separated, said
a NASA source, speaking on background.
"At NASA, computers are used to accomplish missions. Security is an
aspect...like bandwidth or suitable software," he said. Pulling out one
aspect of the operation and giving its responsibility to another entity
could compromise the mission, he said.
Overcompensating for security, for example, could make it more difficult
for IT systems to work, while undercompensating could compromise security.
Therefore, officials determined that NASA's CIO should retain responsibility
for the security of the agency's computer systems and networks. One exception
is a classified computing system, which will be the responsibility of the
new security office.