What is OPSEC?
What does the acronym OPSEC mean? And what does it have to do with cybersecurity?
From the earliest days of battle, which has occurred since the beginning of recorded history, adversaries have worked to uncover information about what their opponents are planning. How many of them are there? Where are they going to strike? When are they going to strike? Are they going to strike? Who are the key leaders? What kind of training regimen do they have? What’s their morale at right now? What weapons do they have? And so on.
In the military and government world, OPSEC is a term that refers to operational security, and it’s all about ensuring that sensitive information isn’t obtained by adversaries through cyberattacks , web sleuthing, or hacking. Sensitive information might include things such as details about troop movements, personal contact information, schedules, etc.
In today’s digital world, operational security is keen to concerns about hackers obtaining sensitive information through the internet. And, surprisingly, these hackers don’t usually have to hack very deep in order to obtain a lot of very sensitive information. Why? Because troops have the tendency to post info on their personal social channels. More often than not the troops are sharing the information that they assume is safe to share, but even sharing information about an upcoming training exercise or a deployment can be handing sensitive information to foreign adversaries who scour the web for such details.
In order to mitigate the spread of sensitive information through social channels, texts, and other means, it’s important for all troops to be trained in OPSEC procedures. This is a topic that every service member needs to understand, because every service member is entrusted with some level of sensitive information, whether they realize it or not.
This training isn’t optional and it’s very critical. It should be taken seriously.
As the military said during World War II, “Loose lips sink ships.”