Mohana Ravindranath | Nextgov | April 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

Watchdog: NASA Needs Permanent IT Security Officer


Instability in NASA’s chief information officer’s shop has led to a lack of a good plan to manage its IT resources, a watchdog report finds.

An audit completed last month found that NASA doesn’t have an agencywide information security program, partly because it hasn’t had a permanent senior security officer, causing, “uncertainty surrounding information security responsibilities.”

Without a such a plan, “NASA will continue to struggle” to manage its security risk, the Office of the Inspector General’s report said.

As of February 2016, NASA had started to document its information security architecture, the report said. Though the information security plan isn’t complete, that step could help the agency make progress, the OIG report found.

But at that point, NASA still didn’t have a permanent senior security officer. Three different people cycled into and out of that role over the past year and a half, the report found.

The OIG recommended NASA’s CIO require the senior security officer to create an agencywide information security program plan. NASA concurred with this recommendation.

This is one of many tech problems the space agency faces. NASA documents obtained by Federal News Radio last month found the agency could have millions of out-of-date security patches, making its networks vulnerable to cyberattack.


Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.