Salutes & Awards

July 17, 2014

Existing tools help users reduce PII breaches

1st Lt. Meredith Hein
24th Air Force Public Affairs 

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) – Members of 24th Air Force are refurbishing an old email tool to help Air Force users reduce breaches of personally identifiable information, or PII.

The Digital Signature Enforcement Tool, or DSET, which currently prompts users to provide a digital signature when an email contains an active hyperlink or attachment, is being reconfigured to scan emails and attachments for PII. DSET was first introduced to Microsoft Outlook in 2009 by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

“DSET was originally designed to mitigate risk from socially-engineered email or phishing attacks. Now, it provides some protection of messages transmitting PII,” said Alonzo Pugh, a cyberbusiness system analyst for 24th AF. “The tool provides awareness for users of risks before the email leaves the workstation, giving users the chance to correct the identified risk.”

PII includes items such as an individual’s social security number, driver’s license information and financial information. Breaches occur when this information is inadvertently released. User awareness is one of the biggest issues associated with PII breaches, Pugh said.

“When users release PII that is not protected, that puts information at risk for being intercepted by adversaries,” he said. “These adversaries can then use that information to target users to gain access the network. Air Force network users must do their due diligence when sending an e-mail containing PII. They need to make sure the information is protected.”

DSET capability should encourage users to be more involved in the process of preventing PII breaches, Pugh said. “The user is afforded the ability to take action in checking their emails to make sure they are not inadvertently releasing PII, and given the opportunity to protect it. DSET makes users more aware that they need to double check their emails and ensure that they are in accordance with policy; the responsibility for preventing breaches ultimately falls on them.”

The tool itself is straightforward to use, Pugh said, and will give users simple prompts to follow in sending emails. In addition, there is a function allowing information which was falsely identified as PII to still be sent.

“While our software solution will support the Air Force’s efforts to reduce PII breaches, it is still important for personnel to be aware and vigilant with their handling of documents containing PII,” said Col. Eric Oliver, the 24th Air Force director of cyber systems.

The tool’s new usage is still in its initial stage, focusing on social security numbers. Developers hope that DSET will ultimately be able to scan for a variety of PII to prevent future breaches.

“It is imperative that we protect one another as we move each Air Force mission forward,” said Maj. Gen. J. Kevin McLaughlin, the 24th Air Force commander. “Avoiding the release of PII is part of being a good wingman, but it is also part of protecting the network and accomplishing the Air Force mission.”

In preparation for the release of DSET, you can access training for the new tool using the following link: https://afpki.lackland.af.mil/assets/files/OE-15-40-064_QRG-DSET_v0001.pdf

Additional training on how to encrypt Microsoft Office documents can be accessed at: http://www.24af.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-140701-064.pdf

Users have multiple tools at their disposal to protect PII if encrypting e-mail is not feasible, but if electronic transmission of sensitive PII is operationally required, users can leverage approved Department of Defense file exchange services at: https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Don’t become a target

Considering recent threats against Americans and the exponential growth of social media use, becoming a target of an adversary is easier than ever. Operations Security is a process that identifies unclassified, critical informa...
 
 
BreastCancerAwareness_pict

An Airman’s story: My mother didn’t fight alone

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – His green eyes frantically searched the crowd for his dying mother. During his final pass and review at basic military training (BMT) he saw her in the stands, cheering him on. A year later, ...
 
 

Fire Prevention Week 2014

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski) Sparky the Fire Dog, National Fire Protection Association spokesdog, and members from the 355th Fire Emergency Services flight taught children from the Child Development Center how to stop, drop and roll at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 8. The 355th FES conducted several events in conjunction with Fire...
 

 

Troops to Teachers helps Airmen serve after separation

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – For many service members who are separating from the military, finding employment that utilizes prior training or skills gained while serving can be difficult. For Airmen who are honorably discharged from their military commitment and have an interest in ‘serving’ again as an educational instructor, the Troops to Teachers program is...
 
 

Military Tuition Assistance Program implements changes for FY15

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – Air Force active duty Airmen who want to take advantage of the military assistance programs for voluntary education in the coming academic year can expect several changes that were implemented on Oct. 1, 2014. The new Air Force Credentialing Opportunities Online, also referred to as AF COOL, will take the place...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin