Since 911, Federal agencies dedicated to critical infrastructure in the United States have contributed significant allocation to upgrading cyber-systems toward risk mitigation against threat. A major challenge to this effort is the persistence of 'legacy systems' or older propriety architectures that are non-standard to command syntax. Replacement of legacy systems that were originally implemented as internal 'unique' security platforms for control of facilities, out flows of energy and engineered scientific missions, has resulted in increased standardization of information control systems architectures and their taxonomies for optimized urgent response in case of environmental disaster or terrorist attack. The new systems also allow better management of information to the end of greater data accountability, and time constraint and cost reductions.
The U.S. space agency NASA has been core to development of new frameworks of enterprise resource planning and the modernization of organizational legacy systems where manufacturers and other government entities involved as partners or suppliers to those missions are concerned. NASA's role as a scientific institution puts the Agency in a discreet position as representative of U.S. interests in space, yet separate in terms of its capacity to collaborate on international missions with other space agencies. Instrumental to the development of a variety of migration strategies, pilot projects and enterprise missions, the competence and engineering expertise derived from NASA information security architectures and models of integrated systems of distributive compliance are critical to an informed discussion on advancements in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems since the emergence of the Department of Homeland Security, post 9/11. Critical infrastructure as defined in the U.S. PATRIOT Act of 2001 are those,
"systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters" (Shea, 2).
Industries subject to legacy reconfiguration from that period forward include a range of infrastructural resources engaged on NASA missions, including chemical and defense manufacturing sectors. Probabilistic risk is to NASA enterprises is substantial, so that a great deal of the Agency's enterprise systems support architecture is dedicated to collection and analysis of technological and random human error and its potential to cause catastrophe to launch. Here, mechanistic malfunction is at high risk of explosion. Network systems controlled jet propulsion commands are analyzed according to the garbage in and garbage out risk scenario as illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1. A schematic showing the arrangement of the valves in the main propulsion system of Mars Observer (Harland, 2005).
The dawn of sophistication in space science enterprise IT technical systems as universal framework to industrial infrastructure architecture began approximately one decade prior to the 9/11 incident and set the format for NASA's continued recommendation to legislative policy and engineering standards post that period. NASA is also responsible for piloting expert knowledge sharing databases as a means of collaboration and tracking of professional qualifications and activities in its Competency Management System (an online system that maps individuals to their competencies). Out of the CMS seed project, NASA initiated its Engineering Network (NEN) in 2005, and furthering the objectives laid forth by the Agency's Office of the Chief Engineer toward capacity building and compliance with benchmarking criteria developed in coordination with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army Company Command, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Boeing Corporation. The NEN network allows "peers and experts through communities of practice search multiple repositories from one central search engine, and find experts" (Topousis, D.E. et al. 2009). Simple in concept and streamlined in consideration of known actors with top level security access to proprietary information.
Also considered priority targets in the PATRIOT Act and subsequent National Strategy for Securing Cyberspace, 2003 are industrial control systems architectures used by NASA partners and suppliers of chemicals, and other combustibles such as fuel. Many of those systems are subject to supervisory control and data acquisition systems, or Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). PLC devices are automated monitoring switches for control of industrial plants, and are also used widely within manufacturing facilities. The benefit of PLC is that it offers flexibility in controls of an entire system from a central location. Networked PLC share one database and control channel manufacturing relationships such as the infrastructure of oil…