Happy Safe Networking! So says longtime CHIPS author, retired Air Force Maj. Dale J. Long, in this issue's installment of the "Lazy Person's Guide." You may be amused by the reference to Happy Safe Networking instead of the traditional Happy New Year greeting, but think of how miserable we are when the network is down or working at less than optimal performance, or worse yet, there has been a security violation.
It isn't just a matter of inconvenience. When you think of the national security data, proprietary data and Department of the Navy intellectual capital that ride on DON networks, security becomes the single most important factor in naval operations.
When you consider what is at stake, we should be inspired, not disheartened, and approach network security as an opportunity to innovate new solutions, not only to defend and secure DON networks, but at the same time to take advantage of technologies that help us do our jobs better, make the nation more secure and empower the warfighter on the pointy end of the spear.
With inspiration and innovation in mind, we take a close look at the Next Generation Enterprise Network, the follow-on to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet. NGEN will replace the NMCI with better security, flexibility to embrace new technologies and, most importantly, allow the network to truly become a command and control node in the naval arsenal, according to DON leadership.
But the best network security in the world will fail — if we become careless. Not surprisingly, users are the weakest link in network security. In this issue, Dale Long takes a look at social engineering — that insidious, ever-present collection of scams, hacks and schemes that tricks users into providing information that aids cyber terrorists in infiltrating DoD and DON networks. Security studies indicate that increasingly these attacks are politically motivated, and not just attempts to extort money or steal personally identifiable information, such as Social Security and credit card numbers.
The statistics are bone-chilling! For more information about social engineering techniques and ways to protect yourself and the network, go to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team Web site at www.us-cert.gov and the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer Web site at www.doncio.navy.mil.
In November, the CHIPS staff joined Team SPAWAR in an exhibit that showcased the C4I products and information technology systems that Team SPAWAR engineers for the warfighter at the MILCOM conference. Thanks to those readers who stopped to say hello.
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