The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is working to address partner agency concerns about the effectiveness of its Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) program, according to a blog post released by the agency on Thursday.

The reassurance comes after a recommendation from DoD’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation to halt deployment of the program went public in February. The report highlighted concerns that the JRSS is unable to handle the volume of traffic it faces, putting secure data management at risk.

However, all 11 NIPRNet JRSS stacks in the U.S. remain active, and more are planned for bases outside of the country.

In its blog post, DISA notes that they held discussions with mission partners, which surfaced five major complaints;

  • Reliability;
  • Latency;
  • Cost;
  • Multi-tenancy, and;
  • Synchronization with base infrastructure.

While the recommendation against JRSS targeted the reliability of the program, DISA countered by pointing to the progress in the Security Information and Event Manager reducing the number of open tickets from 100 to 0. “As a result, the PMO has rebuilt confidence at the customer-level and ensured the tool is at a stable, optimal state for all mission partners,” DISA wrote.

In responding to concerns about latency, DISA noted that it upgraded all CONUS Intrusion Prevention System appliances in December, with initial reports showing “significant improvements at the end-user level.”

On cost concerns, DISA noted that previous agreements made it clear that military departments must realign their budgets to pay for the program, with cost savings coming from decommissioning legacy systems. Additionally, the JRSS program management office “is actively looking ways to reduce costs” by using the scale of the Pentagon in acquisitions.

Partners expressed their concerns that in JRSS’ multi-tenant environment, changes made by other agencies could affect their deployments. DISA noted that the JRSS PMO is using governance processes for now and looking for a technical solution.

Finally, the separation of each unit’s duties was cited as a challenge by partners. Currently, mission partners and DISA share Tier 1 responsibilities, DISA holds Tier 2 responsibilities, and the PMO is responsible for subject matter expertise at Tier 3.

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