Smart cards defend networks

***image1***Airmen can soon bid adieu to some of their many passwords with a new login requirement being implemented across the KMC.

In order to protect computer systems from network attacks, hackers and viruses, Department of Defense recently mandated that services implement the Smart Card Logon. SCL will replace user names and passwords with a 6- to 8-digit PIN that will enable users to access their network account, the Air Force Portal, Virtual Military Personnel Flight, the Assignment Management System and the Defense Travel System. 
Civil service employees, contractors and local nationals will also be required to use SCL to access the network. GS/WG civilians and contractors will use the same procedures as military personnel to enable SCL. Instead of using an identification card, local national personnel will use a Common Access Card. The Civilian Personnel Office has procedures in place to ensure local nationals receive a CAC.  

Network security is the driving force behind the SCL – snooping is a common technique used to capture valid passwords from valid users in order for unauthorized individuals to penetrate Ramstein’s network. Once an intruder is inside the network, the information they can collect and the potential for damage is tremendous. SCL makes it much more difficult for passwords to be compromised. With SCL, a user has to present a physical token – their identification card – in addition to their PIN, to be granted network access. Bottom line – no identification card, no network access.

The SCL must be implemented by July 31.  (Courtesy of the 435th Communications Squadron)