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.


 
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

Annual Installation Awards Banquet honors top personnel

Natalie Lakosil From left, Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca stands with Fort Huachuca’s 2014 winners: Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, Sgt. Brya...
 
 

2015 Army Emergency Relief Annual Campaign

Since its founding during World War ll, Army Emergency Relief (AER) has provided $1.7 billion in interest-free loans and grants to 3.6 million Soldiers in the active component, the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve and among the ranks of the retired. AER financial assistance provides timely care and support to Wounded Warriors, Surviving Spouses...
 
 
Stephanie Caffall

Uncasing ceremony formally welcomes 40th ESB Soldiers home

Stephanie Caffall 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. John Reinburg, left, and Battalion Commander Lt. Col. David Thomas begin the uncasing of the battalion colors. The colors signify the homecoming of the 40t...
 

 
Courtesy of André Douglas

Civilian Expeditionary Workforce offers unique development opportunity to IMCOM employee

Courtesy of André Douglas The Bagram Air Base installation management team — made up of active duty Service members, civilian employees and contractors — pauses for a commemorative photo. SAN ANTONIO — Joining the Civili...
 
 

FH schools to celebrate National Bike to School Day March 06

Students from Colonel Johnston, General Myer and Colonel Smith Middle Schools will be riding or walking to school on March 6 along with parents, teachers and community leaders. The event will begin from 7 to 8:30 a.m. with youth, parents and community leaders riding or walking from parking lot locations listed below or from home....
 
 

CWFC designed to improve employee morale

There’s an organization on post designed to enhance the quality of life for Fort Huachuca federal Civilian employees during and outside of duty hours. The Civilian Welfare Fund Council, or CWFC, Fort Huachuca, is a Category IV Non-appropriated Fund Instrumentality with proceeds from concessionaire commissions. Its purpose is to manage the Civilian Welfare Funds, or...
 




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