New policy in place for Army computers

***image1***Starting Aug. 1, computer users will not be able to remotely access webmail or any other Army in Europe network services unless they are using a government-owned computer and have been validated by their commander as a remote access user.
Currently, Soldiers and Department of Defense employees using employee-owned computers can remotely access the LandWarNet (unclassified) to conduct both official and unofficial business, according to Daniel LaChance of the Policy Branch, Architecture Division, U.S. Army Europe.
This situation opened network doors to hackers and viruses through these employee-owned computers and other unauthorized systems. Those doors are closing, and employee-owned computer systems will be prohibited from connecting to the Army network for any purpose.
The change is coming because the Army in Europe is placing more and more information of vital interest to the business of the Army on the LandWarNet (unclassified).
“This is due to the Global War on Terrorism and the post 9-11 environment we operate in. We must protect the network and official or sensitive information from unauthorized persons who could use it to disrupt our mission, breach our force protection, and weaken our operational security,” said Mr. LaChance.
“Our military relies on the network being available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We must take every measure we can to minimize the possibility of mission failure or loss of our Soldiers or friendly lives,” he said.
Employee-owned information systems are a major source of computer viruses, a problem that the Information Assurance Division must tackle every day.
“We need to protect our network from these hackers and viruses by prohibiting employee-owned computer systems from connecting to the network,” said Jerry Peters, IAD. “This new policy will help ensure it never does.”
The new policy will not prevent employees with a legitimate requirement from having remote access to the Army in Europe network.
If a commander determines that an employee has a valid requirement for remote access, he or she has until Aug. 1 to validate that requirement, request an account for the employee, and provide a properly configured government-owned computer system for remote access.
As of Aug. 1, the Army in Europe Virtual Private Network client will be required for all users with remote access. All computer systems attempting to remotely connect to the network may be scanned to determine if the system is properly configured. Systems that do not meet configuration requirements will not be able to connect to the network.
For details, contact the Policy Branch, USAREUR G6, at 370-7395. (Courtesy of U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs Office)