Ensuring Ramstein Cybersecurity

Members of the 86th Communications Squadron Cybersecurity Office pose for a group photo. Airmen assigned to the office maintain security for a variety of communications platforms. Courtesy photo.

The Ramstein Wing Cyber-security Office consists of 20 personnel assigned to the 86th Communications Squadron, better known as King COMM. This office is the largest of its kind in U. S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa and has one of the busiest and most unique missions in the Air Force. For them, cybersecurity is much more than a catchphrase or a month-long campaign every October; it is a relentless daily challenge of protecting information, the network it resides on, and most importantly, the users that access it.

For those assigned to the office, their duties run the gambit from creating Secret Internet Protocol Router Network tokens, inspecting emissions security for classified processing areas, issuing cryptographic communications security material, establishing cybersecurity policy, tracking compliance, vetting IT hardware/software purchases from approved vendors, and much more.

They also engage over 480 Cybersecurity Liaisons from various organizations to assist with communication-related needs. The Wing Cybersecurity Office trains and advises these CSLs as their unit’s representative in which they educate and inform assigned personnel on cybersecurity requirements. The CSLs are a critical link in protecting information and accomplishing communication-related tasks in an effective and efficient way.

The Department of Homeland Security launched National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October 2004 as a broad effort to help Americans become safer and more secure online. Education and awareness are the best ways to combat the continuous barrage of cyber threats that exist. With new developments in technology there will always be new associated threats and vulnerabilities. Adopting and implementing those new technologies requires time for testing to understand what may actually be at risk to networks and their users.

Cybersecurity is a rigorous, never-ending and high-stakes battle. The rate of technological prowess throughout the world is increasing at unprecedented speeds. With every advancement in securing technological systems, the technology to attack these systems increases as well.  Military personnel must remain ever vigilant with regard to the exponentially growing and rapidly evolving threats to our nation’s cybersecurity.

With the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency and National Cyber Security Alliance campaign of “Do Your Part. #BECYBERSMART” their goal is to cover a variety of topics that stretch far beyond just the military. The campaign addresses technology in our everyday personal lives and in some ways affects us all. Considerations need to be made for email and password protection, mobile devices, applications, routers, Bluetooth technology, and Wi-Fi enabled devices, to name a few.

Service members and their families have become accustomed to living in a world connected through the internet, games, and technology. With the ever-changing playing field, there needs to be a high level of scrutiny on what risks are acceptable. Everyone has a role in protecting information in the cyber domain and information today is more valuable than ever. We must remember to be #CYBERSMART and the Ramstein Wing Cybersecurity Office provides the expertise to get it done …Second to None!