The definition of OPSEC (Operational Security) - the process of protecting information (usually unclassified) that could be used by our enemies to harm any assets important to our nation's and allies well being, safety and continued way of life.
- It is important to understand that OPSEC does not replace other security measures - it adds to them.
OPSEC - A NEW MINDSET
Our attention to security must change now!
Events in recent history have proved that there are those who would harm the U.S. and other countries by other than standard military means. Ask yourselves how many times prior to 9/11 had you heard about terrorism? Most of us knew of terrorism prior to 9/11, but we never thought it could happen here - in America. We were wrong. Unfortunately, we have suffered several terrorist attacks both by our own countrymen and by fanatics in other countries in recent years.
Oklahoma City bombing - April 19, 1995
by American terrorists that claimed 168 lives (19 of which were children under 6) and injured more than 680 people.
USS Cole - Oct. 12, 2000
Suicide attack that killed 17 Sailors and injured another 39. Only through the heroic efforts of the remaining Sailors was USS Cole saved from sinking.
Sept. 11, 2001
This day will live in infamy for every U.S. citizen when nearly 3,000 people lost their lives and more than 6,000 more were injured in a coordinated effort by Al Qaeda when they hijacked three planes and attacked the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC and a third plane that went down in Pennsylvania.
How did such tragic events happen? Because our enemies knew our vulnerabilities. How did they know our vulnerabilities? Because the information they needed was easily available. Why was the information so available to our enemies? Because proper OPSEC wasn't used. As federal employees, we are representatives of the people. We develop, we plan, we execute - the American people trust us to do our job and keep them safe. When we don't use proper OPSEC, we put everything at risk and potentially cost the lives of many Americans.
What is proper OPSEC?
- Not having a predictable behavior.
- Watching what we say in casual conversations.
- Not broadcasting personal or professional information for everyone to see on Facebook, MySpace or other social networking web sites.
- Remembering that just because we can't see those who are listening doesn't mean they aren't.
REMEMBER: Loose Lips Sink Ships and Careless Keystrokes Can Kill!