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179th Airlift Wing recognizes Cybersecurity Awareness Month

By Airman 1st Class Alexis Wade | 179th Airlift Wing | Oct. 10, 2019

MANFIELD, Ohio – Cybercrimes, intrusions and scams are increasing, requiring increased vigilance to protect networks and safeguard cybersecurity.

Senior Master Sgt. Nick Wirwille, supervisor of the Cyber Systems Operations shop at the 179th Airlift Wing Communications Squadron, focuses on protecting against cyber threats and increasing cyber awareness.

Cyber Systems Operations specialists design, install and support systems to ensure they operate properly and remain secure from outside intrusion.

Wirwille has worked in the communications squadron for 18 years. He maintains all servers on base, making sure they are secure and up to date with security patches. These patches are what block security holes that hackers exploit, said Wirwille.

The Air Force relies heavily on advanced computer and software systems, so it is paramount to keep those systems safe.

“Cybersecurity is the most important thing right now,” said Wirwille. “We hear it all the time in the news media here on base, people getting their identities stolen. If you aren’t following proper cybersecurity, they can wreck your life. It is the most important thing in the world right now to be aware of.”

October is national Cybersecurity Awareness Month, when government and industry collaborate to urge people to be safer online. Wirwille says basic precautions can protect against unwanted cyber intrusions.

“Phishing emails and robot calls are very big issues right now,” he said. “Don’t use any links provided in emails that are sent out, and if anything at all seems wrong, don’t do it. The best thing to do is to contact the business directly and inquire about what you were sent.”