Energy not ready for public cloud

The Energy Department isn’t ready to migrate to a public cloud, mainly due to policy challenges and security concerns, according to a senior official.

Robert Brese, deputy CIO at Energy, spoke at Federal Computer Week’s Federal Executive Briefing, a half-day event held March 15, focused on discussions around the transformation of federal IT environments. He said Energy has partnered with the National Nuclear Security Administration to begin the process of moving some of Energy’s information and systems to a cloud environment.

However, because a large portion of Energy’s information is unclassified but sensitive, “we’re not ready to put that out there in the public cloud,” Brese said, adding that he anticipates the use of a hybrid cloud.

Cyber attacks on government IT systems have increased exponentially in recent years, an alarming trend Brese said should serve as warning as the department advances further toward a cloud environment.

“That’s preventing us from moving as quickly as we would like to, but we’re getting there,” he said. “There are some challenges in the policy world where we the government need to make sure to tighten up that relationship so we can help move all of us into a secure future.”

Energy has been working with the Commerce and State departments on how to protect export control information and arms control information. Although that information is unclassified, it’s subject to various regulations including criminal penalties if let loose. 

“That also restricts our ability to move to the cloud a little bit because I don’t want to move just my productivity solutions to the cloud; I want to move all of it to the cloud or I’m going to end up running two systems,” Brese said.

The department’s most recent stride toward the cloud includes the forthcoming email migration of its lead nuclear research and development facility in Idaho, a move Brese called “a huge win.”

“But this set of negotiations around a relatively narrow policy segment took us almost seven months,” he added.

 

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Fri, Mar 16, 2012

And what is wrong with running two systems. One out in the PUBLIC cloud for public data and the other in a private (DOE, or shared government) cloud for the classified, sensitive, propritary data.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group