Assessment Recommends Pausing JRSS Program

DoD Pentagon Military

According to an internal evaluation report, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) program is behind schedule, undermanned, full of cybersecurity issues, and should be discontinued until the system demonstrates that it can assist network defenders in detecting and responding to cyberattacks. The JRSS program is a suite of equipment that is supposed to perform firewall functions, intrusion detection and prevention, enterprise management, virtual routing and forwarding, and network security capabilities.

The report states that several factors affected the operational assessment including “the difficulty inherent in integrating disparate, complex commercial technologies into a functional system of systems;” insufficient training; and immature standard operating procedures.

The JRSS program has been attempting to make improvements over the past two years, but it’s unclear if the high volume of data that is supposed to traverse each JRSS can be managed effectively. It is recommended in the evaluation report that the DoD CIO should consider the possibility that the data flow may be too large and refine the JRSS deployment plans to reduce the required data flow through each JRSS, if that is the case.

Even if the data issues are resolved, the report still details that training for the programs is far behind. “JRSS operator training still lags behind JRSS deployment, and is not sufficient to prepare operators to effectively integrate and configure the complex suite of JRSS hardware and associated software.”

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