connected clouds (Shai_Halud/

Nuclear security agency pushing cloud platforms

The National Nuclear Security Administration plans to build hybrid cloud platforms to support its secure IT networks and applications.

The cloud deployments are part of NNSA's ongoing efforts to mitigate cybersecurity risks for some of its non-nuclear IT systems through common platforms, the agency told Congress in its annual report on stockpile stewardship.

In fiscal 2020 NNSA plans to launch the initial phase of an expansion of its Enterprise Secure Network (ESN) with a hybrid cloud platform for its West Coast communications hub to enable secure applications hosting for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Office of the CIO reported.

It also plans a hybrid platform for its East Coast data center for classified application hosting as well as a hybrid cloud platform that will support the Joint Technology Demonstrator project for Weapons Activities at its Kansas City Nuclear Security Campus.

NNSA began the ESN project almost 10 years ago to facilitate sharing classified data, securing communications and improving workflow for its many operations across what the agency calls the Nuclear Security Enterprise. The NSE is made up of the NNSA's nuclear production sites, as well as Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, which are involved in nuclear weapons research.

The common platforms, said the office, can help mitigate a growing risk from "the necessary use of a global IT supply chain" that supports weapons programs. That supply chain cybersecurity risk is driving the evolution and implementation of ESN.

The agency said part of its mitigation of supply chain risks is to build an enterprise infrastructure that has tighter control over validation and distribution of software and hardware.

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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