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It's All About the Net-Work!

August 22, 2011

“It’s all about the network” is a common phrase in Army cyber circles. It is the rallying cry for the digital resources that enable the Army to perform its mission more effectively and efficiently. Yet, the Army Network requires a significant amount of effort, not only to develop, implement, maintain and improve it, but also to keep it secure. Those specific network or “Net-Work” tasks are the responsibility of everyone who touches the Army Network.  In fact, everyone who touches the Army Network should be a proponent for its safety and security as well as a role model for the savvy information assurance soldier. 

It seems amazing that with all the attention paid to the critical need for sound cybersecurity, both in the government and in the private sector, that there are still those that don’t get it. “Getting it” means understanding the role each individual plays in protecting the network, and each individual’s role in spreading that knowledge. There are those that get it, those who will get it through training and experience, and those who will never get it because they ignore or avoid their personal responsibilities in keeping the network safe.

It is up to those who understand cybersecurity and information assurance best practices to make sure that the word is spread. The best way to do that is to network with peers, subject matter experts and maybe even your own friends and family. Talk about best practices, dealing with threats and known vulnerabilities and what may be coming in the future. Conferences like LandWarNet are great places to do this, but not everyone has the opportunity to attend. Sometimes you have to look at your work life as a perpetual conference where you can learn from the experience of others and share the experience and expertise you have yourself.

Protecting the Army Network requires constant vigilance and awareness. We all have distractions and pressures that have nothing to do with information assurance and cyber security, but that’s no excuse for cutting corners or not learning security best practices. That’s why actively seeking the experience and wisdom of others and sharing the same will help keep this critical task on the front burner. It takes networking and positive net-work to protect the Army Network.  The effort put into it protects military data, Army operations, and ultimately lives.