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NASA Officials Address Challenges in Sustaining IT Systems of Space Assets

Renee Wynn, chief information officer of NASA, has said in an audio interview that it will take time for the agency to achieve a cybersecurity posture for its information technology assets, Federal News Radio reported Friday.

Wynn explained that NASA cannot modernize some of its IT systems as they are still operating in space, such as the Voyager I and II space probes.

To address this challenge, the agency treated IT as a strategic resource, boosted the authority and productivity of the CIO and reduced desktop contracts starting in 2014, among other things.

Mike Witt, associate chief information officer for cybersecurity and privacy at NASA, also noted that the agency sometimes maintains the operating systems of its legacy assets to protect their functions.

NASA is leveraging the cloud to protect its data while sustaining old systems.

“NASA really does understand and embrace the use of cloud, but we do take a very careful approach before we start putting out data in it to make sure the cybersecurity is up to federal standards,” Witt added.

The federal organization is working with cloud providers to maximize the capabilities of trusted internet connections to address the requirement for surge capability.

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