All Army units while stationed at home or deployed must maintain vigiliant cybersecurity practices to defend the Army's network.
U.S. Army Cyber Command Soldiers help commanders and their units remain secure during a deployments.
To ensure that they are ready to operate in a war zone, units deploying into a theater of operations undergo network validation with the Regional Cyber Center before they connect to the enterprise, said Lt. Col. Michael Maharaj, RCC Southwest Asia director.
Technical experts with defensive cyber operations skillsets make up the Cyber Assistance Teams within each RCC who work with the deploying units complete their integration process.
"Network validation should be a part of the reception, staging, onward-movement and integration, or RSOI, process," said Maharaj.
Active Duty and Army Reserve Soldiers who make up a CAT manage the integration program comprised of vulnerability assessments, incident response, vulnerability trending, and training and awareness for the deploying unit.
To help tactical units meet these requirements, RCC SWA contacts units several months before they deploy into theater, requesting Assured Compliance Assessment Solution scan results, explained Maj. Brad Fortune, RCC SWA Defensive Cyber Operations chief. This solution provides automated network vulnerability scanning, configuration assessment, and network discovery.
"These scan results help the [defensive cyber CAT] team gauge what deficiencies exist, and allow the RCC to help the unit correct and calibrate before packing their equipment - in essence the RCC defensive cyber operations team is conducting pre-combat checks," said Fortune.
Once the unit arrives in theater, a face-to-face meeting with the RCC team ensures the technical baseline required for connection to the network is correct and reviews best business practices.
"Realizing not everyone will RSOI through Kuwait, the CATs will continue to provide cyber support when needed, throughout the SWA area of operations." said Maharaj. "Both the face-to-face and the cyber assistance team visits, serve as our pre-combat inspections."