FAA raising security awareness

The Federal Aviation Administration is about to hit the road.

Within the next six months, the FAA's Chief Information Officer, Daniel Mehan, and his new information systems security director, Michael Brown, will take their information security awareness message to workers at FAA facilities across the country.

The FAA had its first information security awareness day April 4, with a keynote speech from FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and a talk from John Tritak, director of the federal Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office.

Shortly after the standing-room-only event at FAA headquarters, the FAA hired Brown to replace Raymond Long, who retired from the FAA in December. Regional offices had parallel events of their own April 4, but Mehan and Brown are planning an outreach effort that will bring them in touch with employees in the field. They also will use the events to introduce employees to the FAA information systems security managers in each line of FAA business.

The events are intended to raise computer users' awareness of the different levels of cyberthreats to personnel, physical facilities and information, Mehan said.

"It's a big effort for us this year," Mehan said. "Last year, it was a 30-minute [video] tape."

Brown comes to the FAA from the Army National Guard, where he was CIO. Brown said that the training of information technology professionals and the general workforce is a top priority for him in his new post.

The Office of Information Systems Security also will distribute informational pop-up pyramids that explain the five layers of system protection and include phone numbers for the FAA's Information Systems Security Managers. The pyramids also display a hot line number for reporting security breaches.

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