DVIDS – News – U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach develops innovative insider threat reporting tool to safeguard community
ANSBACH, Germany (Nov. 21, 2023) – Anyone who works for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is familiar with the myriad of security protocols and training and existing reporting tools for perceived security threats, including insider threats. Per the Army Insider Threat Program, insider threats are defined as “an insider who uses their authorized access, wittingly, to harm the security of the United States through espionage, terrorism, unauthorized disclosure of National Security information, or through the loss or degradation of department resources or capabilities. This includes physical harm to another in the workplace.”
Agencies across the DoD currently offer various platforms to report possible insider threat situations, such as the U.S. European Command’s (EUCOM) modified Blue Dart program, borrowed from the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Army’s iSALUTE initiative. Unfortunately, the path taken to drive these efforts are either based on a hair-trigger notice (i.e., the Blue Dart initiative) or is drawn out due to investigative protocols instituted by the Army Military Intelligence (MI) / Criminal Investigation Division (CID) hierarchy, and take time before reporting and analysis arrives at the garrison level for the Prevention, Assistance and Response (PAR) team of Functional Experts’ (FE’s) review and consideration.
Because of these limitations, the security managers of U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Ansbach recognized a need for a more localized, low-threshold program to report suspicious activity at the work center level. Over one year, they identified and developed an organic program, the Bystander Engagement and Intervention reporting tool, which will be deployed on the garrison’s SharePoint portal and allow Army personnel to report suspicious activity at the garrison level.
Although bystanders, such as friends, family, acquaintances, or coworkers, are frequently the first to observe pre-incident warning behaviors, they are often reluctant to go through formal channels because of the complexities of the reporting process or the uncertainty of their observations. However, it’s been shown that early reporting increases the chances for successful resolution for all concerned.
“The Bystander Engagement and Intervention tool is designed to work in tandem with our community’s efforts to address workplace violence and mitigate hostility in the work center, by introducing a point-to-point application to communicate threat concerns, and augment the Ansbach Insider Threat Program (InTP),” explained Alonzo Edwards, security manager at USAG Ansbach. “The focus of this endeavor is centered on employing our community’s number one inherent resource, our employees, to identify and act by using this tool as a venue to highlight and relay information on those threat pre-indicators present that sometimes only they can see.“
The new reporting platform is an original concept developed to create a hotline-style workforce insider threat and workplace violence identification reporting tool using Microsoft 365 technologies. Accessible from any Department of Defense (DoD) device, the form allows the submission of screened information, with dedicated monitoring for each reported submission and unique tools for investigation, early mitigation, and PAR prioritization. The garrison SharePoint portal is accessible to all Local Area Network (LAN) users in the community and is the optimal platform for this tool.
By the end of this year, the garrison security division will actively deploy and advertise the Bystander tool, which can be found using a Common Access Card (CAC) enabled computer at https://tiny.army.mil/r/Jr7SC/Bystander. Until the formal launch of the new system, please continue to report concerning behaviors to your supervisors, security managers, local law enforcement, and Army counterintelligence.
Remember, all DoD-sponsored personnel in the Ansbach area are Insider Threat sensors and defenders. Take an active role as a BYSTANDER — SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!
The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach military community is located in the Franconian region of Bavaria and is spread across six sites and nine kasernes dispersed around the city of Ansbach and the village of Illesheim. Today, Ansbach is home to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, the community’s largest tenant unit, as well as the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. The garrison takes pride in its support to more than 10,000 Soldiers, civilians, family members, and retirees working and living in the Ansbach area.
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