Protect operational security through SETA

Fort Meade’s Security Education, Training and Awareness program, or SETA, consists of three elements: security education, security training and security awareness.

Security education and training builds on the general knowledge that military and civilian personnel must possess to do their jobs, familiarizing them with how to do their jobs securely. It promotes understanding, awareness and motivation.

Some essential points of responsibility for all individuals who live and/or work on the installation start with understanding that operational security, part of SETA, is everyone’s responsibility, said Brian Riffey, a security specialist with Fort Meade’s Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.

“SETA is a way of compartmentalizing how we provide our garrison staff and tenant units with the information and training they need to keep us safe from their corner of the Fort Meade world,” Riffey said.

Operational security, or OPSEC, is addressed through SETA, said Riffey. OPSEC includes five steps in a process that guides how government employees, contractors and others should think regarding the handling of sensitive information.

Those steps include identifying critical information, determining threats, analyzing vulnerabilities, assessing risks and applying appropriate countermeasures.

Riffey said that sensitive or critical information might not appear by itself to be of concern, but when put together with other related information pieces, an adversary can envision a larger picture that could prove harmful to government operations and security.

The SETA program, according to Riffey, provides a process in which the Fort Meade community can better understand and be mindful of protecting and enhancing operational security.

“Whether your job entails working with classified information or not, we all need to be aware of our responsibilities as government employees to be vigilant and understand that it’s on each of us to know what to do in this area of securing the workplace and keeping each other safe,” Riffey said.

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