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 photo by Staff Sgt. Ciara Gosier)

Historic fighter squadron celebrates 98th birthday

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ciara Gosier) Historic_Pict2 Caption: U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 94th Fighter Squadron and Aircraft Maintenance Unit pose for a photo at Langley Air Force Base, Va., Aug. 21, 2015. The ph...
 
 
WEBKeySpouse_pict

Key Spouse Program: Supporting the families and Airmen of 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)

Photo: KeySpouse_pict DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. — It is in the nature of military service that at some point you will be separated from the ones who love you. Often times a permanent change of station forces spouses and si...
 
 
(Courtesy photo)

SecAF, CSAF, CMSAF present new “little blue book”

(Courtesy photo) Caption: Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody congratulates an Airman attending Airmen’s Week Aug. 27, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The Airmen received a copy of “America’...
 

 
af-uav4

Arming the RPAs

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Joseph Swafford A1C Matthew Lopez (center), 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron munitions systems technician, builds a GPS-guided GBU-49 bomb at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 15, 2015...
 
 
Photo: WoW_pict

Warfighter of the Week: Staff Sgt. Brad Johannes

Photo: WoW_pict Col. Robert Stonemark, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) chief of staff, presents Staff Sgt. Brad Johannes, 12th AF (AFSOUTH) manager of engineering operations, with the Warfighter of the Week certificate dur...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>