The quintessential intel-communication hashtag of our day. And no wonder. The world is expanding into an online atmosphere. One that is changing the way we communicate, the way we see the world, the way we share information. Even the way we put ourselves at risk.
Cybersecurity is a critical capability affecting all parts of the Department of Defense. From the command centers, to the AFN studios, to the air support in the sky and the troops on the ground, we’re connected by more than just power. Today’s defense department workforce is affected by cybersecurity on multiple fronts. It’s up to everyone in the defense department community, and their families, to take a part in the responsibility of safeguarding information.
Cyber threats are real. Cyber-based threats are evolving and growing at an exponential rate. These threats can be unintentional or intentional, targeted or non-targeted, and can come from a variety of sources, including criminals, terrorists, and nation states, as well as hackers and disgruntled employees. These potential cyber attackers have a growing array of increasingly sophisticated techniques at their disposal, which can vastly enhance the reach and impact of their actions.
Operations in the cyber domain are critical to military operations. Virtually all of our Department of Defense operations are supported by automated systems and electronic data. It would be nearly impossible to carry out these missions without ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our information and information systems. Conversely, ineffective information security controls can result in significant risk to military operations and national security, as well as personal security.
Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Whether through daily use of DOD networks to conduct official business, or using personal communications via social media platforms, the digital domain is an ever-present part of daily life for many, many people. Protecting your information, and the information of the Department of Defense, is something every denizen of the digital domain needs to take seriously. That can be accomplished by being smart about what you put up, what you share, and whom you share it with.
Stop. Think. Connect. If you think you ought not to share something online, there is probably a good reason for that. Think about what you’re doing, or more importantly, if you can live with any consequences that may arise from what you’re about to say. Don’t know if you’re treading a line or crossing it? Err on the side of caution. Ask a supervisor or someone in your chain of command. It’s better to be safe than have your secure information compromised because you made a false step or two. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pull the plug on digital communication, however. When used safely, and securely, it’s one of the best ways to stay connected to the things and people you care about most.
It’s all about making good choices, and it’s up to all of us to protect information in the cyber domain.
The Department of Defense takes its mission to defend the nation in cyberspace from those who might attempt to use cyberspace against U.S. security or national interests very seriously. Threats and potential threats are analyzed constantly, with the goal of preventing, deterring, and (if necessary) defeating them. The serious nature of evolving cyber threats continuously bolsters our cyber defenses and information technology capabilities to address these sophisticated and capable adversaries.
When it comes to communicating, in any capacity, be smart. Information is valuable. Treat it that way.
Looking for more information on cybersecurity? Check out some of these sites:
Jessica L. Tozer is a blogger for DoDLive and Armed With Science. She is an Army veteran and an avid science fiction fan, both of which contribute to her enthusiasm for technology in the military.
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