NASA is launching a new cyber-related initiative, known as the Mission Support Future Architecture Program, to realign the agency’s cybersecurity staff and move it towards an enterprise security model.

In a NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report released on November 15, the OIG detailed the new initiative, which is set to go into effect in January 2022.

“Under the Mission Support Future Architecture Program, Center chief information security officers and cybersecurity staff will be realigned from the Center OCIO [Office of the Chief Information Officer] to the senior agency information security officer, moving the agency towards an enterprise computing model that would centralize and consolidate IT capabilities, such as software management and cybersecurity,” the report says.

The new program “leverages employees’ skills for use across the agency,” as it transitions to an enterprise-wide workforce. The OIG explained successful implementation of the new program should provide consistency among agency contracts or grants, as well as lessons learned.

This new program comes as NASA’s OCIO expects to award its Cybersecurity and Privacy Enterprise Solutions and Services (CyPrESS) contract in February 2022.

A May 2021 OIG report revealed that NASA is exposed to a “higher-than-necessary risk from cyber threats,” but also states that the CyPrESS contract shows promise for NASA to secure its systems more effectively and “eliminate duplicative cyber services.”

As the CyPrESS contract and the Mission Support Future Architecture Program “come to fruition,” the OIG noted in its latest report that “sustained focus by agency leadership is critical to integrating these dual initiatives into its enterprise-wide cyber portfolio to avoid implementation gridlock.”

 

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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