Template:Redirect-synonym Operations security (OPSEC) is a process that identifies critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by adversary intelligence systems, determines if information obtained by adversaries could be interpreted to be useful to them, and then executes selected measures that eliminate or reduce adversary exploitation of friendly critical information.
Though the above statement is true in its official military format, OPSEC is the process of protecting little pieces of data that could be grouped together to give the bigger picture. OPSEC is the protecting of critical information deemed mission essential from military commanders. Protecting this critical information is through the use of email encryption software, careful of who may be listening to you (like in a hotel bar), paying close attention to a picture you have taken (back ground) or not talking openly on social media sites about information on the unit's critical information list (military deployments, shortages of equipment or movement of VIPs).
Process[edit | edit source]
- Identification of Critical Information: Identifying information needed by an adversary, which focuses the remainder of the OPSEC process on protecting vital information, rather than attempting to protect all classified or sensitive unclassified information.
- Analysis of Threats: the research and analysis of intelligence, counterintelligence, and open source information to identify likely adversaries to a planned operation.
- Analysis of Vulnerabilities: examining each aspect of the planned operation to identify OPSEC indicators that could reveal critical information and then comparing those indicators with the adversary’s intelligence collection capabilities identified in the previous action.
- Assessment of Risk: First, planners analyze the vulnerabilities identified in the previous action and identify possible OPSEC measures for each vulnerability. Second, specific OPSEC measures are selected for execution based upon a risk assessment done by the commander and staff.
- Application of Appropriate OPSEC Measures: The command implements the OPSEC measures selected in the assessment of risk action or, in the case of planned future operations and activities, includes the measures in specific OPSEC plans.
- Assessment of Insider Knowledge: Assessing and ensuring employees, contractors, and key personnel having access to critical or sensitive information practice and maintain proper OPSEC measures by organizational security elements; whether by open assessment or covert assessment in order to evaluate the information being processed and/or handled on all levels of operatability (employees/mid-level/senior management) and prevent unintended/intentional disclosure.
Uses[edit | edit source]
An OPSEC assessment is an intensive application of the OPSEC process to an existing operation or activity by a multidisciplined team of experts. Assessments are essential for identifying requirements for additional OPSEC measures and for making necessary changes in existing OPSEC measures. Additionally, OPSEC planners, working closely with Public Affairs personnel, must develop the Essential Elements of Friendly Information (EEFI) used to preclude inadvertent public disclosure of critical or sensitive information.
Other measures that impact OPSEC[edit | edit source]
- Communications security (COMSEC)
- Information security (INFOSEC)
- Signal Security (SIGSEC)
- Transmission security (TRANSEC)
See also[edit | edit source]
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- For Official Use Only - FOUO
- Information security
- Intelligence cycle security
- Sensitive but unclassified - SBU
- Social engineering
References[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- U.S. Government OPSEC site
- Operations Security (JP 3-13.3) PDF U.S. DoD Operations Security Doctrine
- "Bin Laden Trail 'Stone Cold'". Washington Post. September 10, 2006. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/09/AR2006090901105.html.
- "After a Decade at War With West, Al-Qaeda Still Impervious to Spies". Washington Post. March 20, 2008. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/19/AR2008031903760.html.
- Operations Security Professionals
- How to Conduct an OPSEC Assessment