Health & Safety

February 1, 2013

Cyber security — more important than ever before

It was long after the hour of darkness and everyone had left the building for the day. Ever so slowly, the door leading onto the main hall swung open, and, after glancing furtively up and down the corridor, a man dressed in janitor cleaning attire slid out. Hesitantly, he pushed his cart to an office where a door was cracked open, slightly ajar. The ‘custodian’ slipped inside, closed the door, snapped on a dim light and sat down at a waiting computer terminal which had been left on and was humming slightly.

He stealthily removed equipment from the bowels of his janitor cart, hooked it into the unit, loaded the password which unlocked the system and went to work.

A “cyber terrorist” doesn’t distinguish between a Department of Defense computer network system or one from the private sector. With the stroke of a key, the cyber terrorist can wreak havoc on a system not fully protected with a robust firewall suppression system. Even with the strongest firewall suppression system we still see signs of attackers getting through via Phishing attacks or installing viruses.

How does this correlate with operations security, or OPSEC? The key is information or the protection of information filed or stored within our computer networks. We’ve heard of and seen countless stories in newspapers and on the television concerning federal agencies and private companies losing or being denied their own information due to the spread of spyware, malware and other denial-of-service programs. On an average, 63,912 computers are affected daily.
The United States is the target of most denial of service attacks, accounting for 52 percent worldwide.

In today’s cyber world environment we must finally come to the realization that our computer is a weapon systems platform. The adversary’s goal is to neutralize or eliminate the threat coming from the weapon platform itself. Hence, when we discuss the cyber threat from an adversary’s point of view their goals are to deny the use of these systems, while simultaneously, trying to steal stored information. We cannot solely rely on our critical infrastructure to deny the cyber terrorist an avenue in penetrating our system defenses. We must all take an active role in assuming responsibility for sensitive information stored on desktops such as unit Critical Information (CI), For Official Use Only (FOUO) and Privacy Act (PA) data.

Doing the right things like properly protecting the personal identification number, or PIN, to your Common Access Card and passwords to other internal software programs are a good start. Not corrupting a computer with non-approved external media devices is another way of protecting sensitive information from getting into the hands of an adversary by eliminating the threat of infected spyware and malware embedded in the media.

Those who receive suspicious looking email that they do not recognize should simply not open them. Delete them from the inbox and the office recycle bin to ensure any potential attached viruses are neutralized.

One last important factor is to ensure that all information containing FOUO or PII information is protected from potential hacking through the use of encryption with PKI.

As we know from the news, cyber threats are pervasive. What is not as widely known is cyber threats most often target human behavior, using attacks such as social engineering, spear phishing, cyber bullying and the targeting of children. The mitigation measure for these risks is education.

We have made great strides in securing government systems to accomplish our mission. Don’t forget to protect your families by maintaining the same security principles at home through education and good practices such as the following:

  1. Secure computer accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for people to verify who they are before they conduct business on that site.
  2. Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  3. Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
  4. Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Those who keep a list should store it in a safe, secure place away from their computer.



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


 
 

 
U.S. Army IMCOM photo by Amanda S. Rodriguez

Civilian mentor program shapes Army installation management’s future

U.S. Army IMCOM photo by Amanda S. Rodriguez U.S. Army Installation Management Command mentors and mentees work on teambuilding skills, building a block tower in total silience, during the IMCOM Headquarters Centralized Mentori...
 
 
DoD

DFAS reminds DoD employees to review tax withholdings

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service gave U.S. Department of Defense employees a friendly reminder to review withholdings from their paycheck, in an email last week. If a large tax refund was received or you owed a large amount in taxes during the recent tax season, you may need to look over your federal and...
 
 

Odierno: Information, instability travel at similar speeds

ASPEN, Colo. – As the world has become more interconnected and information travels faster than ever before, it also has become more unpredictable and dangerous, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said here last night. “People now understand more about what other people might have, what they might want, how much control they want...
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Post children attend Vacation Bible School week

Gabrielle Kuholski Pictured with the microphone, Colleen Sherod, 20, Vacation Bible School volunteer, emcees a review of the week’s religious lessons as VBS students hold up posters of their “Bible buddies.” The activity ...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

Seifert School-Age Center offers fun for kids, piece-of-mind for parents

Maranda Flynn Selene Ferro, 9, Jaliah Eldridge, 7, and Malachi Bergstrom, 7, build a puzzle train city in the creative play area of the first through third grade room at the Seifert School-Age Center. Creative play allows child...
 
 

Coronado National Forest fire crew assists with Oregon firefighting efforts

TUCSON, Ariz. – An initial attack firefighting crew from the Coronado National Forest has been assigned to firefighting duties on the Logging Unit Fires north of Warm Springs, Oregon. Coronado Crew 5 was ordered as a firefighting resource on July 16, 2014. The crew departed July 17, arriving at the fires on July 18. Crew...
 




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