Training Is Just Common Sense

March 2008


It is easy to say, if he had just used common sense he wouldn’t have lost his Common Access Card (CAC). She should have had the common sense not to leave her thumb drive in the coffee shop. What is common sense? It’s the knowledge and experience we start to develop as soon as we are born. For example, the pot on the stove is hot: don’t touch it; the ice is slippery: walk carefully; the information is sensitive: encrypt and protect it, etc.

We also should learn that if we do not commit these lessons to our common sense memory, then we are doomed to suffer the consequences frequently. Consequences—burnt fingers, bruised bodies, compromised data—fall into two categories: learning the hard way and painful remedial lessons. Eventually consequences force knowledge into a person’s collection of common sense.

Many information assurance (IA) best practices that should be part of every IA professional’s common sense are definitely based in things we learned since childhood. For example, this is valuable: don’t leave it lying around; this is secret: don’t tell anyone; this is important: don’t lose it. Yet, what is common sense to some is unknown territory for others. This is why it is so important that people in information management positions have the most relevant and up-to-date IA training possible.

To add to our collection of lessons that make up common sense, it is important to learn continually throughout our lives and careers. That means training. IA training and certification is critical not only to doing data management jobs, but also to protecting sensitive information that the enemy and criminals would love to have.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or are new to the world of information management, training is valuable. It keeps you up to date, reinforces earlier lessons (common sense), clarifies things that you thought you knew and even teaches you something new. Common sense would tell you that you should get the training you need to do your job as well as possible.

The On Cyber Patrol© cartoon and supporting articles are created and made available by the U.S. Army’s Office of Information Assurance and Compliance, NETCOM, CIO/G6.  For more information on the OCP program or to submit ideas for upcoming cartoons/articles contact

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