Navy Directs Network Security Training Day

Story Number: NNS090212-06Release Date: 2/12/2009 11:22:00 AM
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By Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Christopher Koons, Naval Network Warfare Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Gary Roughead has directed all Navy activities to conduct a network security training and awareness day no later than Feb. 28. Every Navy member who uses government computers including Sailors, civilians and contractors are required to complete this training.

The CNO mandated this policy due to wide-spread non-compliance with established guidelines, regulations and directives concerning the use of Navy networks and multiple malware infections that have recently occurred throughout the Navy.

"The recent setting of Information Operations Condition (INFOCON) Level 3 set the stage for the CNO to mandate this training," said Lt. Cmdr. Damen Hofheinz, Naval Network Warfare Command's (NETWARCOM) deputy for information assurance.

"It will heighten everyone's awareness of electronic threats and the safe computing practices that are needed to ensure the security of the Global Information Grid."

INFOCON is a comprehensive defense posture and response system based on the number and level of threats posed to military information systems. It has five parts, with INFOCON Level 5 being the lowest threat to military networks and Level 1 being the greatest threat condition.

Commands will be required to conduct training for all users in the following areas: removable media, anti-phishing, safe home computing and 4) personally identifiable information (PII) handling procedures.

Members will also review their commander's expectations regarding user accountability and network security. The ultimate goal is to increase awareness and ensure compliance with Department of Defense information assurance policies and procedures.

"Bad practices such as using thumb drives to transfer data between domains, not digitally signing e-mails with links and attachments, and people opening spam and phishing e-mails are all areas that will be addressed," said Hofheinz. "It will increase awareness of these practices and the vulnerabilities that can arise from them and will hopefully stop people from doing them in the future."

NETWARCOM is scheduled to conduct its training Feb. 23. Vice Adm. Denby Starling, NETWARCOM commander, anticipates that all personnel will come away from it with a better sense of what must be done to increase network security.

"Recent events have reinforced the continuing need for network operators who are aware of the threat, are well trained in network security guidelines, and whose command leadership has high expectations for compliance and accountability," Starling said.

"This Focus Day is your opportunity to improve the Navy's overall network security posture by increasing the overall level of security awareness in your organization as well as ensuring that your subordinate commanders understand and reflect your expectations regarding their responsibility in setting, maintaining and enforcing the high operational standards necessary to keep our networks secure."

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