Cyber security is the responsibility of all Airmen

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Philip Carter)

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Philip Carter)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Ever since the beginning of the Internet, individuals have become more connected than ever before in all aspects of life. Because of all the threats out there, being aware of cyber security is the responsibility of everyone.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and designed to remind people, including Team Pete, to always be vigilant in protecting against threats, such as malware, spyware, ransomware, viruses, worms and Trojan horses.

According to the April 2015 DoD Cyber Strategy, the Director of National Intelligence named the cyber threat as the number one strategic threat to the United States from 2013-2015. This placed it ahead of terrorism for the first time since the attacks of Sept. 11.

“Airmen need to always do their due diligence to ensure security practices are adhered to and have a secure awareness at all times when they are working,” said Master Sgt. Matthew Mullen, 21st Communications Squadron chief of cyber surety.

The 21st CS gives monthly cyber awareness training to the cybersecurity liaisons who work at organizations throughout the base. Cybersecurity liaisons assist the wing cybersecurity office in meeting their duties and responsibilities, which includes helping with any cybersecurity tasks that happen within their unit. So if there is a security incident where classified material gets onto an unclassified system they’re the point of contact to help clean it up.

The training encompasses computer security training and as well as Tempest.

“Tempest is a mission security,” said Mullen. “It monitors emanations coming off of electronic devices and making sure that there’s proper separation between classified and unclassified lines and systems, to make sure there is no bleed over on electronic emissions,”

“It is possible to have emissions from actual data crossover when you have lines physically crossing over each other or if you have wireless devices that are too close to classified information,” said Mullen. “They can pick up on these electronic signals coming off of the classified systems. It’s possible for people to use devices, to read these bits of information that escape.”

The 21st CS is also in charge of pushing out training for everyone who works on base and uses a network computer this is accomplished through the on line Advanced Distributed Learning Service, certification.

“This is the time to make sure that people are doing their individual efforts to secure classified information at work and at home,” said Mullen.

Below are some cyber tips to help anywhere.
•Create strong passwords - Include numbers, symbols, capital and lower-case letters.
•Never leave electronic devices unattended, always lock devices with a passcode no matter how long it will be unattended.
•Always keep software updated, especially anti-virus software.
•Don’t open links found in e-mails unless it’s from someone you know, and never if it’s from a bank, the IRS, or similar institutions. If you think it might be valid contact them directly.

All Airmen are the last line of defense when it comes to safeguarding classified materials. (If it’s not taken seriously) Mullen said “We run the risk of having our advisories getting ahold of our classified information and exploit it and use it against us.”