Network awareness key to its security
Maj. Gen. James M. Milano is Fort Jackson's commanding general.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Gone are the days of faxes and paper routing slips; the Army is totally reliant on computers for almost every aspect of how it does business. With that reliance comes a tremendous amount of risk and a significant responsibility for each of us to ensure we do our part in exercising discipline when operating on our networks.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This serves as a time when all of us should inspect our individual computer practices so that we keep ourselves cyber-educated, smart and secure. Making the extra effort pays off in protecting and safeguarding our current environment and our ability to operate in the future.

The effort that we make not only benefits Fort Jackson and our Army, but it also pays off in our private lives. Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month focuses on the measures that are being taken by government entities to secure the nation's network infrastructure.

It takes the collective efforts of all members of the Fort Jackson community to adhere to network security standards, while the U.S. Army Signal Network Enterprise Center develops and implements solutions to counter threats that could impact our freedom of information and our network security posture. Securing our critical information technology infrastructure demands the dedicated discipline of our work force to keep personal assets and information secure while employing network technologies that will maintain the integrity of the Victory network.

The overall success of our efforts is grounded on strong partnerships. This is an area in which we all must be connected to achieve our goals. Cybersecurity is a 365-day-a-year responsibility, and to accomplish this, we need to understand ACT - Action,

Commitment and Training - a NEC initiative to enhance overall awareness. The concept is fairly simple. Start by taking these immediate actions:

-- Ensure that the latest anti-virus software and firewalls (where applicable) are installed on government and private systems. Keeping software updated is the primary way to protect systems from cyber attacks.

-- Update computers' operating systems and critical program software. This enables the most current protection against network vulnerabilities. Employ the automatic updating feature if available.

-- Back up our important files by copying them onto a removable disc and storing it in a safe location.

We should also:
-- Adhere to good network practices. Keep our system passwords secure and do not write them down where they can be easily seen.
q Make sure that when we leave our computer terminals, we remove our Common Access Cards from the machine.

-- Use communications routines such as email alerts via Victory Distro, newsletters, websites and even social media networks to increase awareness on simple topics like information assurance bulletins and protecting personal identifiable information.

-- Avoid network violations, such as surfing porn sites, sending chain letters, attempting to bypass network access controls, introducing unauthorized hardware or software, using personally owned software, uploading executable files or introducing malicious software or codes onto the Victory network.

Meanwhile, we will continue to educate ourselves through refresher training. The required DoD network security training includes: Annual DoD Information Assurance awareness; personal identifiable information handling; anti-phishing; safe home computing and proper handling of removable media. All of these measures not only help us stay safe online, but also strengthen our collective cybersecurity efforts.

The bottom line is that we all connect to the Global Network Enterprise Construct to conduct operational mission requirements, quality-of-life responsibilities, and day-to-day planning functions. The network is a critical resource. Each of us using the network is responsible for its security. A secure network is essential for enforcing the high standards necessary to keep Fort Jackson safe from online threats.

Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!

Page last updated Thu October 21st, 2010 at 08:00