Information Protection is everyone’s responsibility

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Felicia Przydzial
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

In today’s interconnected world, many base personnel often handle pieces of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Protecting this information is key to maintain the privacy, integrity, and security of the mission at all levels and it is the responsibility of everyone involved.

“All Airmen, civilians and contractors, have a responsibility to secure the information and resources entrusted to them,” said Robert Spring, 22nd Air Refueling Wing information and industrial security manager. “After recent visits, evaluations and self-assessments, activities have shown that we have room for improvement in this area.”

“It’s easy to forget that CUI and the materials and resources we work with everyday are sensitive and valuable to our adversaries, both inside and out,” said Spring.

Things such as leaving an unattended office door unlocked or leaving a Common Access Card in a computer, can often be overlooked. DoD personnel can personally take steps to help protect CUI from adversaries by not talking about sensitive information with people who have no need to know. To help mitigate these vulnerabilities, the 22nd Air Refueling Wing Information Protection office is studying the option of installing different locking mechanisms on some office doors across the base.

According to Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, everyone has the power to stop a threat and help secure the nation. Just reporting suspicious activity or strange behavior gives everyone an essential role in keeping areas safe and secure.

Most government employees know the phrase, “if you see something, say something.” That phrase is common in anti-terrorism programs, but it can be useful for information protection as well. Seeing and reporting suspicious activity may seem obvious, but saying something to an individual who is violating information protection protocols is not so obvious.

“If you witness a violation or a practice that puts our information at risk, don’t shrug it off,” said Spring. “If it appears that information may have been compromised, then you must report it to your unit security assistant, but if you see bad security practices happening in real time, you may be able to prevent a more serious issue by politely and respectfully addressing the problem as it happens. It’s often simply an oversight or lack of knowledge, so it’s good that we check ourselves and our fellow Airmen on this responsibility.”

“Another way we can improve our security is for leaders to implement an end-of-day check policy within workspaces that are not occupied 24-hours a day,” said Spring. “The standard form 701, Activity Security Checklist, is a form that can be tailored to list all the items or spaces you want to ensure are secured before leaving for the day. The checklist, when posted at the exit of your workplace, serves as a visual reminder to conduct End-of-Day checks, and as documentation that we are meeting, or failing, our security responsibilities.”

The form is available to download from For more on information protection, contact the Information Protection Office at 759-2502.