2013-10-18 / Viewpoint

Training helps defense of networks

By Maj. Gen. LaWarren V. Patterson
U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence & Fort Gordon

Fellow Signaleers,

This year marks the tenth anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness

Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

In accordance with the Secretary of the Army’s direction, the Army will observe an IA/Cybersecurity Awareness Week this fall from 15-18 October.

The Signal Regiment is making history in cyber security. Our leaders are writing cyberspace doctrine, developing capabilities, educating future cyber warriors and building operational teams. You, as a Signal Corps Soldier, are an important part of this historic effort. Here is a link for annual training you must complete and links to resources for you to broaden you awareness of cyber threats and defensive measures: https://sigkn. army. mil/ portal/ home/ all-articles/g6-s6/opsec/ cyber-opsec.

The Uni ted States military holds the line of defense for our national security systems. Each and every user is critically important to the defensive fight. Something as simple as forgetting to encrypt “unclassified” or “for official use only” email can reveal critical operational details such as VIP itineraries or network diagrams. Bad actors can use an itinerary to commit a “snatch & grab” or use a single IP address to start mapping a network for a future attack.

You may not have considered physical security as part of good cyber defense.

Losing your ID card or not questioning why a stranger is attempting to access a restricted area can give physical access to network components and data storage areas; even air-gaps between networks are not foolproof. It’s worth noting that computer hardware is vulnerable to hacking if you’ve purchased it from a questionable source. Therefore, stick to the approved products list.

Defending is a tough job and we are fortunate to have the best professionals across the services dedicated to hardening systems, perimeters and transmission pathways. They are creating new and innovative ways to kick enemies off our networks and keep them out; this is the ultimate challenge:

Staying one step ahead of cyber-criminals, amateur and professional hackers and nation-state threats.

I need every Signal Corps Soldier in the Regiment to stay current on your annual training, learn about cyber defense and do your best to defend our networks.

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