New security requirements proposed for NASA acquisitions

NASA has issued a proposed amendment to existing acquisition rules for the space agency that would expand and strengthen IT security requirements, to address increasing numbers of cyberthreats and facilitate compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act.

The rule change, laid out Aug. 1 in the Federal Register, would expand IT security plan requirements to include a risk assessment and a Federal Information Processing Standard 199 assessment.

FIPS-199 requires agencies to determine 'appropriate priorities for agency information systems and subsequently applying appropriate measures to adequately protect those systems. The security controls applied to a particular information system should be commensurate with the system's criticality and sensitivity.'

The comment period on the proposed change closes Oct. 2. If implemented, it will affect new contracts only, not apply retroactively to existing contracts.

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