Letter to the editor concerning cyber security article


I received the below email on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015:

“Ms. Welz,

The article you published in the Beacon on page 5, dated 11 December 2015 “Cyber Security tips for the holiday season” appears to be taken form the e-mail that I sent out to everyone on 4 December 2015, this one I am forwarding to you.

You have taken credit for something that came out of our office, for something we in the Wing Cybersecurity Office do daily and without mentioning us as a source.

Along with Air Force guidance our office is governed by other agencies outside of the Air Force to include DoD, DISA, DHS, NSA just to name a few. When I came across this toolkit in my daily duties I figured this would be good information to share with the base as our information has already been hacked twice through OPM and several other times with commercial vendors; Target, Home Depot, AMEX and so on. This is why I sent the information. Changing the words, correcting my grammar doesn’t give you the right to take credit for something our office did, I did. Further, asking our members to share “cyber security stories” in a public format like Facebook could show vulnerabilities not just to our members, but the security of our network and in all what we strive to prevent.

I expect this to be corrected in your next Beacon with an explanation and apology.


The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.

How about this:

Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do.

Brian G. McLean, GS-09, DAF

Cybersecurity Manager”

Original Email: “Are you in the holiday mode yet? All of the sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday? In all of your rushing around you cannot let your Cyber Security guard down.

Stay vigilant.

The Dept. of Homeland Security has some helpful tips to share to keep you safe, not just during the holiday season, but all the time. Please have a look. http://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-toolkit

Merry Christmas!


Brian G. McLean, GS-09, DAF

Cybersecurity Manager”

Editor’s note: I take my credibility as a journalist very seriously and would never intentionally take credit for another’s work. In writing the Beacon article, I did some research by visiting the link attached in the original email, which provided me with the content for the small article I wrote. I apologize for not citing Mr. McLean’s original email in the article. In the end, he and I are both doing our best to inform you that cyber security is a serious issue, and we should all be vigilant in protecting our information.