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Vandenberg set to undergo Command Cyber Readiness Inspection

Airman 1st Class Denzel Lockett, 30th Space Communications Squadron client systems technician, applies security patches to a noncompliant work station, March 30, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Throughout the Command Cyber Readiness Inspection window, inspectors will be examining the installation’s classified and unclassified computer networks to validate security compliance across Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Robert J. Volio/Released)

Airman 1st Class Denzel Lockett, 30th Space Communications Squadron client systems technician, applies security patches to a noncompliant work station, March 30, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Throughout the Command Cyber Readiness Inspection window, inspectors will be examining the installation’s classified and unclassified computer networks to validate security compliance across Vandenberg. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Robert J. Volio/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The annual Command Cyber Readiness Inspection is set to take place, here, April 18 through 25.

Throughout the rigorous assessment window, inspectors will be examining the installation's classified and unclassified computer networks to validate security compliance across Vandenberg.

"The CCRI is conducted by the Defense Information Systems Agency and it is designed to assess an installation's overall cyber readiness and how secure its NIPRNet and SIPRNet systems are," said Lt. Col. Blake Jeffries, 30th Space Communications Squadron commander. "Previous versions of this inspection merely assessed for compliance, whereas today's version is designed to assess an installation's operational readiness for its cyber operations. The U.S. Cyber Command has three areas of focus: defending the DoD Information Network; providing support to combatant commanders for execution of their missions around the world; and strengthening our nation's ability to withstand and respond to cyber-attack. The CCRI verifies an installation's ability to defend its portion of the DoD Information Network. Essentially, USCYBERCOM recognizes cyber as a center of gravity within the DoD."

While the 30th SCS deals with the inspection itself, it is every Team V members' duty to remain cognizant of basic cyber security pitfalls.

"Cyber security is everyone's responsibility, so everyone will be inspected during the CCRI," said 1st Lt. Arturo Urquieta, 30th SCS operations flight deputy commander. "For Vandenberg to be successful during this inspection, all network users must adhere to traditional physical security, information security and information assurance policies. This inspection takes place mostly in the Communication Squadron's backyard, but will also require a lot of leadership involvement. Information Protection and Unit Security Mangers, Unit Cyber Liaisons, and Facility Managers as the inspectors do walk-throughs all around the base."

There are a multitude of preventative measures network users can take in thwarting cyberspace enemies.

"Take to heart your Information Assurance training," said Jeffries. "Take your Common Access Card with you every time you leave your desk. Turn on every NIPRNet machine in your organization. My Communicators need every machine up and running to ensure it receives the most up to date patches for network security. If your unit has SIPRNet terminals, make sure you do your part by powering them up every Tuesday and Thursday to receive critical network patches. Seek out and get to know your unit Cyber Liaison; they are a wealth of information and they can provide assistance for your cyber needs. Properly label disc media. The first action to accomplish once you take the disc out of the computer is to properly label it and log it appropriately. Exercise your mental skills by memorizing your login credentials. Stay away from writing them down. Lastly, continue to be wary of phishing attempts; each and every day people fall victim to cyber hacks conducted via adversary phishing tactics, techniques and procedures."

With countless moving pieces during the CCRI, teamwork and communication are key to a passing inspection grade.

"This is a team effort, and there are a lot of entities all around base that are involved in this inspection," said Urquieta. "The coordination of this whole team is critical to drive our base to mission success."