“Improving Cyber Readiness” was the theme of this year’s Army in Europe Information Assurance Cyber Week April 23-26 at the Patrick Henry Village Pavilion in Heidelberg.
IA professionals, including active duty Soldiers and civilians, gathered from all across Europe to participate in the week-long event.
Workshops, briefings and networking opportunities were on tap daily with a myriad of IA-related topics designed to help those in the IA community become more proficient in their careers.
“This is a great opportunity for IA professionals to get up-to-date on the latest policies and the latest systems and tools to help them achieve success in this theater,” said Dan Hingtgen, U.S. Army Europe IA program manager. “Another great thing about this event is the opportunity to network with counterparts and leadership so that best practices and experiences out in the field are shared and learned from.”
The main role of IA in USAREUR is to perform Computer Network Defense and to train and set policies that informs users and ensures military data and information is protected.
“IA is everyone’s business,” said Hingtgen. “Everyone has to understand that the threats are real, and everyone should know what their responsibilities are on the network.”
A recurring topic during cyber week was how to translate the technicalities and implications of the network for everyday users’ comprehension.
Jonathon Bingham, IAPM for 5th Signal’s 509th Signal Battalion in Vicenza, Italy, said people must start looking at the network like the Autobahn.
“On the Autobahn, like any freeway, you need a license to drive on it, and you have to follow a set of rules so that accidents don’t happen,” said Bingham. “On the network, your CAC card is your driver’s license, and if you break the rules people could get hurt and your license can be taken away.”
Bingham also advocates that garrisons implement an “IA stand down day,” much like how garrison’s hold safety stand down days to focus on the seriousness of being safe in the real world.
“Leadership involvement in IA is absolutely critical,” said Hingtgen. “When everyone knows what right looks like, it will help us better protect the network from our adversaries.”
5th Signal Commander and USAREUR G6, Col. (P) Bruce Crawford, was also in attendance and gave these words to the attendees:
“Everyone in this room plays a critical role... So as I stand here before you today I’d like to say again – Information Assurance is the absolute foundation of our greater cyber efforts. Thank you all again for your dedication, but most of all for your resilience and for your professionalism.”