Air Force

August 1, 2014

Existing tools help users reduce PII breaches

1st Lt. Meredith Hein
JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas

New buttons will show up on Outlook e-mails as part of the new Digital Signature Enforcement Tool roll out. DSET helps users protect personally identifiable information by flagging possible PII in e-mails and attachments.

 
Members of 24th Air Force are refurbishing an old e-mail tool to help Air Force users reduce breaches of personally identifiable information.

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

“DSET was originally designed to mitigate risk from socially-engineered e-mail or phishing attacks. Now, it provides some protection of messages transmitting PII,” said Alonzo Pugh, cyber business system analyst for 24th AF. “The tool provides awareness for users of risks before the e-mail 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, according to Pugh.

“When users release PII that is not protected, that puts information at risk for being intercepted by adversaries. These adversaries can then use that information to target users to gain access the network,” said Pugh. “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, said Pugh. “The user is afforded the ability to take action in checking their e-mails 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 e-mails 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, said Pugh, and will give users simple prompts to follow in sending e-mails. 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, 24th AF 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, 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 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.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Library closure The Base Library will be closing early Feb. 28 for an official function. Hours of operation will be 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. For more information, call 661-275-2665. Blood drive The next American Red Cross Blood Drive on Edwards AFB is 10 a.m.-4 p.m., March 4 in the Chapel 1 Annex. Both...
 
 

Just American: A century of Black life

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially...
 
 

Leadership development program nominations due March 16

Nomination packages for majors and major-selects interested in the Defense Department 2015-2016 Executive Leadership Development Program are due to the Air Force Personnel Center by March 16, officials announced. The program, designed specifically for highly motivated officers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability, commitment to public service and integrity, and who have an inter...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka

C-12 pilots take to skies at Edwards

Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka Edwards AFB is home to the U.S. Air Force C-12 school house. Referred to as a split school house, when an individual is assigned to fly an Air Force C-12 Huron, they spend three weeks in Alab...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jim Varhegyi

AF senior leaders caution against sequestration

Air Force photograph by Jim Varhegyi Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III answers a question about the fiscal year 2016 President’s Budget request during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on D...
 
 

Soldier, retirees win big with Exchange’s ‘Your Holiday Bill Is On Us’ contest

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service made dreams come true for three grand-prize winners of the MILITARY STAR® “Your Holiday Bill Is On Us” sweepstakes—and for one young Soldier from Fort Bliss, winning has changed her life. As a grand-prize winner, Sgt. Kakala Loketi had her MILITARY STAR® account paid in full. During a...
 




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>