By By Lt. Col. Sharon Stephens, I Corps cybersecurity division chiefNovember 1, 2016
Computers, the internet, social media or smart phones are not usually the first things that come to mind when people think about readiness and security. The first thoughts are typically dominated by powerful images of the U.S. military engaged in training exercises and combat operations. Our popular culture reinforces these notions and the military's role in our security with its movies and news media coverage.
Spend some more time thinking about security and images of guards, checkpoints and locks will likely come to mind. This is an example of physical security, but can't put a lock on the internet.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the fact that you cannot simply put a lock on the internet is exactly why cyber security gets its own month. Thousands of cyberattacks are carried out against the United States every day, and with just one successful attack, our adversaries could learn valuable secrets that undermine our readiness, or take out an entire power grid in a U.S. city.
Cybersecurity has become so important to our readiness that it probably needs an entire year dedicated to awareness. Our first line of defense is the everyday user, and with how quickly the cyber environment continues to change and shift it can be difficult to keep up with. Our adversaries are spending millions on cyber to better understand it and the cyber landscape will likely become the place where the outcome of wars are decided.
That's why I Corps, 7th Infantry Division and the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command are launching a year-long cybersecurity readiness campaign with the help of the I Corps G6 Cybersecurity Division. We will apply quarterly themes in awareness group training sessions tailored towards current events and the Army's operational tempo.
Quarterly themes are:
- Threats in the workplace and the 2017 election (1st Qtr. FY17)
- Threats in social media, PII and the tax season (2nd Qtr. FY17)
- Social media and summer months with children being out of school (3rd Qtr. FY17)
- Threats in relocating as Soldiers prepare for PCS/ETS (4th Qtr. FY17)
The campaign will assist leaders in applying proactive measures that can help the Army safeguard the integrity of networks and systems, as well as protect information and personal data. It will also help Soldiers and Family members better understand the threats from cyber so they can better protect their own personal information from identity theft or falling into the hands of someone who could use it to undermine our mission.
The world has changed drastically in the last two decades, and so have the security threats that we face as a nation. Cyberattacks are happening every day and they're more successful when we're not prepared.