Have you ever wondered where your work emails, internet access and telephone services come from?
The Network Enterprise Center, commonly called NEC Fort Meade, is the principal organization that ensures access to those capabilities for the Fort Meade garrison and tenant partners.
The NEC is a small organization of information technology and telecommunications professionals who work hand-in-glove with the information management officers and S6 telecommunications planning staffs of the garrison and its tenant organizations. Together they identify and satisfy units’ telecommunication needs.
While the Enterprise E-mail service provider is Defense Information Systems Agency, the NEC supports users by helping them set up to access their email boxes. Additionally, the NEC is accountable for ensuring all devices connected to the Fort Meade information environment meet and maintain the cyber security standards and best practices necessary to protect the information environment and its data.
The NEC is organized into three Divisions: Business and Cybersecurity Support Division, the Enterprise Services Division, and the Network Infrastructure Division.
The BCSD group helps identify long-term user information needs; establishes service level agreements with supported organizations; and reviews and validates tenant security-support plans and configuration change requests.
They work with organizational requests for the authority to connect or operate new applications and systems on the network. Additionally, they orchestrate requests for elevated privileges for qualified IMOs to better manage assets.
BCSD personnel oversee the cybersecurity posture of the Fort Meade Network assets, and work with the IMOs to minimize our networks’ vulnerability to cyber events.
Our ESD team members fix user’s devices and enable new applications or systems. Anytime a user has a problem, they report their issues to their organization’s IMO. The IMO will determine if they can fix the problem or need to elevate it to the NEC.
When necessary, the IMO will open a service request ticket with the Army Enterprise Service Desk at NEC Fort Meade. ESD technicians will contact the user to work through the problems. Personnel from this division deploy updates and fixes to equipment and isolate devices that are not compliant with current standards.
The NID ensures all of the telecommunications systems are configured correctly and functioning properly to route data correctly across the network. They ensure the pathways are encrypted correctly and sized appropriately to meet the flow of traffic demanded by users while protecting the information in transit.
NID personnel work closely with a unit’s modernization planners to ensure voice and data communications requirements are adequately captured in building renovation plans. They orchestrate installation and repair of telecommunications cabling and extension of phone lines to users as they move between mission locations. Additionally, they operate the land mobile radio infrastructure as well as internet protocol address space.
Needless to say, this small group of IT professionals stays busy. In the upcoming months, they will be working to finish migration to Windows 10 on all NEC networks. Beginning in January, the network will transition to the Joint Regional Security Stack configuration. Both projects will enhance the security of the information environment and reduce Fort Meade’s vulnerability to cyber events.
As a critical shared asset, it takes all members of the community to successfully maintain the information environment. We need individual users to keep their CAC cards secured instead of leaving them in unattended machines.
Individuals need to follow the password practices dictated by the systems they are using; take action to protect their personal identification information; leave their computers connected to the network after duty hours to enable updating and patching machines outside their normal duty day; and know their IMOs.
As you enhance your understanding of the information environment and role in maintaining cyber security discipline and best practices, we as a community will be able to access trusted information where and when we need it.