Air Force News

Threat makes information assurance important year round

Released: 19 Feb 1999

by Capt. Tracy Gray
Air Force Communications and Information Center

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The Air Force's Third Annual Information Assurance Awareness Month, which focused on the ever-present threats to our information and information systems, culminates Feb. 26. Though the month draws to a close, the importance of information assurance remains.

Every mission and business process in the Air Force depends on information. The Air Force is nearly a third smaller than it was at the beginning of the decade yet it deploys nearly 400 percent more. Information technology allows the Air Force to be agile, flexible and maneuverable and make every bomb and bullet count. Networks have become weapons systems that must be protected just as aircraft are protected on the flightline.

"Information assurance ensures the 'network weapon system' is available and operationally ready to provide the warfighter with the right information, at the right place, at the right time," said Lt. Gen. William J. Donahue, director of Air Force Communications and Information.

Throughout the month the theme, "A Risk Accepted by One is a Risk Imposed on All," highlighted the individual's role in information security. This focus must not end.

The Air Force must continue to train and certify its people. Not just the network administrators, but every user on every system, both classified and unclassified.

World Wide Web security requires constant, special attention. "Commanders at every level need to personally review the information on their Web home pages," Donahue said, "just as they carefully read their base newspapers. We must ensure Web pages don't reveal operationally sensitive or personal information that deserves or requires protection. Thousands of people are looking at our Web sites, and not all of these 'lookers' have honorable intentions."

As Information Assurance Awareness Month wraps up, remember to keep your guard up. Even in times of peace, one war rages on--the information war--and in this war, everyone is on the front line.


** Lt. Gen. William J. Donahue
** Air Force Communications Agency