NASA splits security duties

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 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 could make it more difficult for IT systems

to work, while undercompensating could com-promise 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.Related links - NASA

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