KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- In today's high-tech military, cybersecurity plays a critical part of defending information and computer systems from hackers. U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz demonstrated its technology protection proficiency during a U.S. Army Europe Cyber Readiness Evaluation, Aug. 13-17.

The assessment examined the garrison's adherence to cybersecurity and traditional security controls, said Tracy McManus, USAG RP Information System Security manager and acting Information Management Office director.

"The inspection verified that the garrison is maintaining a good security posture -- cyber and traditional," McManus said. "Some of the areas that were examined included standard operating procedures, user training, appointment orders and security reviews."

Although cybersecurity is a part of the IMO mission, it's also the user's responsibility to ensure confidential information and systems stay safeguarded, McManus said. Careless handling of confidential information, leaving Personally Identifiable Information or common access cards unsecured and users clicking on phishing links are some cybersecurity issues that were inspected as well.

"I welcome any inspection that reinforces cyber security," said USAG RP Commander Col. Jason Edwards. "We did very well in our inspection, but there are always ways to improve our readiness. It is imperative we are vigilant and always thinking about how to best protect and defend our critical resources."

To ensure users are constantly cyber vigilant, follow these tips:

• Maintain positive control of your common access card. If you leave your workstation, take it with you.
• Guard PII data. Keep it covered and make sure it is locked up when not in use.
• Scan-to-email requires CAC authentication. Ask your supervisor or IMO if there is a problem in your area.
• Pick up your printouts right away, especially if they contain sensitive data.
• If you leave your office empty, lock the door. The less access to unauthorized persons, the better.
• Remember to label your media and properly destroy it when it is no longer needed.

Lastly, McManus congratulated the USAG RP team for its efforts.

"My estimation is that we collectively maintain a high level of vigilance and awareness of security and cybersecurity in particular. This is very important because it is the individual's commitment to security that adds up to create a space where we can all pursue the garrison mission unhindered and unchallenged," he said. "And, we must never forget that security is an ongoing line of effort, and we must continually and consistently strive to improve."