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TSA Looks to the Cloud

060803b_lgThe Transportation Security Administration may soon be dealing with a different type of cloud than they are used to.

Chief Information Officer for TSA Emma Garrison Alexander recently spoke with Federal News Radio about the future of the agency’s utilization of cloud computing and how it plans to move forward with its IT capabilities.

In the interview, Alexander explained that TSA plans to take advantage of the new technologies that are available in the cloud and sees many possibilities in advancing their IT infrastructures. “I see virtualization — I see cloud computing — as key ingredients going forward in terms of advancing our network capabilities for the TSA mission,” she said.

Just like many other federal agencies, TSA is concerned about the possible threats that come with cloud computing. But, as Alexander explained, the vulnerabilities will be addressed and these new technologies will evolve, just as the Internet did when it first hit the market.

“I believe in any scenario, cybersecurity and network security is a key ingredient,” she said. “Those are areas that have to be addressed. Just like today, we have to address them with whatever architecture we’re using — we’ll have to do the same thing for cloud computing.”

According to Alexander, TSA’s most immediate use of cloud computing will be for email and will later advance to suit their network capabilities as more long-term infrastructures come into play.

“I think cloud computing has come of age, as far as I’m concerned,” said Alexander. “I think that it’s a reality. It may not be implemented everywhere, but the possibilities are there and I think with some of the efforts that have been successful already across the federal government, I believe that we’re going to be able to take advantage of that.”

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