Military finishes upgrading USFK computer network
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Recently completed upgrades on the military’s peninsula-wide computer network will result in both increased speed and beefed-up security, officials said Wednesday.
The 251st Signal Detachment and Theater Network Operations and Security Center have completed work on a new router and firewall for the system that governs all data entering the Korean theater, said 1st Signal Brigade officials.
The upgrades to the Top Level Architecture, or TLA, are part of an ongoing infrastructure-modernization project dubbed I3MP, they said.
“In a nutshell, this increases the security posture of the network across the peninsula,” said Army Maj. Stephen Sobotta, the 1st Signal Brigade’s automation officer.
“It provides more protection from malicious actions, from hackers, viruses or Trojan horses. The previous architecture, though very good, wasn’t yet upgraded to state-of-the-art. We now are on the leading edge.”
The new system, mostly hardware, should keep the security center on technology’s cutting edge for the next five years, he said. Over the past six months, five to 25 technicians worked on the fixes, from planning stages to physical installation.
“This technology and architecture takes into account that the world is changing. It gives us the opportunity and capability to be proactive instead of reactive,” Sobotta said.
The upgrade was the security center’s second major one in the past six months. In August, the unit completed a $1.6 million renovation to its Camp Walker headquarters building.
While those renovations were being wrapped up, part of the unit worked from a frame tent set up on the base, officials said.
The new center is one of five used throughout the world in Army four-star commands. The networks monitor both secure and nonsecure Internet systems and the Defense Switching Network, or DSN, phone system, officials said. The unit consists of U.S. soldiers, South Korean soldiers assigned to U.S. units, Army civilians and South Korean contractors.
All fixes are part of the 1st Signal Brigade’s mandate to provide “robust, secure and reliable” network communications, officials said. They’re linked to a much larger upgrade to systems.
Among those are further increases to bandwidth capability and a network tool that allows system administrators to remotely manage computer desktops.
“This is all linked to the TLA,” Sobotta said. “Now that the backbone is there, we have the ability to do all of the things inside that we would like.”