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Annual OPSEC Refresher Training Answers

Operations Security, commonly known as OPSEC, is a process that involves the identification and protection of critical information that could be used by adversaries to inflict harm or gain a tactical advantage.

The concept of OPSEC is not new; it has its roots in ancient warfare, where commanders and generals protected information on troop movements, strengths, and strategies to avoid tipping off the enemy. However, the term “Operations Security” was officially coined during the Vietnam War by the United States as a response to the unintended leakage of sensitive military information.

Since then, OPSEC has evolved into a comprehensive framework that is applied not only by the military but also by government agencies, private organizations, and individuals to protect sensitive information.

It encompasses various aspects including physical security, information security, and communication security.

Importance of Annual OPSEC Refresher Training

In an ever-changing security landscape, it is critical for military personnel and organizations to stay abreast of the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Annual OPSEC Refresher Training serves as a reminder of the importance of vigilance and the role each individual plays in safeguarding critical information.

This training reiterates the basic principles of OPSEC and ensures that personnel are aware of the current best practices for protecting sensitive information. Through this training, individuals learn to recognize the value of information, understand the threats and vulnerabilities associated with it, and apply appropriate countermeasures to mitigate risks.

The training also fosters a culture of security and emphasizes the collective responsibility in maintaining operational integrity. In the military context, the consistent application of OPSEC principles contributes to mission success and the safety of personnel.

Annual OPSEC Refresher Training Answers

Which selection best describes the OPSEC concept?Identify and protect critical information
What is Critical Information?Specific facts about friendly capabilities, activities, limitations (includes vulnerabilities), and intentions needed by adversaries for them to plan and act effectively so as to degrade friendly mission accomplishments.
Acquisition of information from a person or group in a manner that does not disclose the intent of the interview or conversation is called?Elicitation
I can publicly release official unclassified information without PAO coordinating security reviews.FALSE
The continuous, secretive observation of persons, places, things or objects in order to gain information.Surveillance
Countermeasure is:anything that effectively negates or reduces an adversary’s ability to exploit vulnerabilities or collect and process critical information. They are intended to influence or manipulate an adversaries perception.
The process of adding geographical identification to photographs, video, websites and SMS messages.Geotagging
Which is an example of a complex password?
Which is not an example of Controlled Unclassified Information?Baby Shower invitations
Up to what percentage of adversary’s intelligence needs can be satisfied, mostly risk and cost free80%
Operations Security (OPSEC) defines Critical Information as:Specific facts about friendly intentions, capabilities, and activities needed by adversaries to plan and act effectively against friendly mission accomplishment.
Understanding that protection of sensitive unclassified information isThe responsibility of all persons, including civilians and contractors
The purpose of OPSEC is toReduce the vulnerability of US and multinational forces from successful adversary exploitation of critical information.
An OPSEC indicator is defined asFriendly detectable actions and open-source information that can be interpreted or pieced together by an adversary to derive critical information.
After initial OPSEC training upon arrival to the command all personnel are required to:Accomplish OPSEC annual refresher training.
The Joint COMSEC Monitoring Activity provides OPSEC assistance by:Monitoring unclassified government telephones and monitoring NIPR email traffic.
Where is the CIL located?On the EUCOM NIPR and SIPR homepages and accessed via the OPSEC ICON.
What is the CIL?The Critical Information List.
OPSEC as a capability of Information OperationsDenies the adversary the information needed to correctly assess friendly capabilities and intentions.
What action should a member take if it is believed that an OPSEC disclosure has occurred?Report the OPSEC disclosure to your OPSEC representative or the EUCOM OPSEC PM.
OPSEC’s most important characteristic is that:It is a process.
OPSEC is:– A COMSEC function and not a security function.
– An operations function, not a security function.
– A security function not an operations function.
None of the answers are correct. (CORRECT)
– All of the answers are correct.
OPSEC is:A process that is a systematic method used to identify, control, and protect critical information
A vulnerability exists when:The adversary is capable of collecting critical information, correctly analyzing it, and then taking timely action.
OPSEC countermeasures can be used to:Prevent the adversary from detecting an indicator and from exploiting a vulnerability.
OPSEC’s most important characteristic is that:It is a process.
All of the following are steps in the OPSEC process exceptmeasuring the amount of information that the adversary possesses
Critical Information isSpecific facts about friendly intentions, capabilities, and activities concerning operations and exercises
The two attributes that define a threat areThe capability of an adversary coupled with intention to affect friendly operations
In gathering intelligence, adversaries look for __, or those friendly actions and open sources of information that can be obtained and then interpreted to derive CIIndicators
As a part of your OPSEC responsibilities, you should do all of the following exceptUse the same passwords for all online accounts so that there is less potential for leaked information
All EUCOM personnel must know the difference betweenOPSEC and traditional security programs

OPSEC Principles

Identification of Critical Information

The first step in the OPSEC process is the identification of critical information. Critical information is data that, if compromised, could adversely affect the operations or objectives of an organization or mission.

In the military context, this might include troop movements, communication codes, or strategic plans. Identifying what information is critical is essential for prioritizing resources and focusing protection efforts.

Analysis of Threats

Once critical information is identified, the next step is to analyze the threats. This involves understanding and evaluating the capabilities, intentions, and activities of adversaries or competitors who might be interested in obtaining the critical information.

In military operations, understanding the threats can include knowing the capabilities of enemy forces, their intelligence-gathering methods, and their history of exploiting information.

Analysis of Vulnerabilities

Analyzing vulnerabilities involves assessing the weaknesses in your systems, processes, or operations that could allow an adversary to gain access to critical information. In the military, this might include weaknesses in physical security, like an inadequately guarded facility, or cybersecurity vulnerabilities, like outdated software.

This step is crucial for understanding how an adversary might exploit your vulnerabilities to gain access to critical information.

Assessment of Risks

After analyzing the threats and vulnerabilities, the next step is to assess the risks. Risk assessment involves determining the likelihood that a threat will exploit a vulnerability and the impact it would have if it occurred.

In a military context, this could mean assessing the likelihood of an adversary intercepting communications and the potential impact on a mission. This step is important for prioritizing which vulnerabilities to address first and what resources to allocate.

Application of Appropriate Countermeasures

The final step in the OPSEC process is the application of appropriate countermeasures. Countermeasures are actions, devices, procedures, or techniques that reduce a threat, a vulnerability, or the risks associated with them.

This could include anything from implementing better passwords to deploying additional guards. In the military, countermeasures must be carefully chosen to effectively mitigate risks without compromising the mission or wasting resources.

It’s important to note that the OPSEC process is cyclical and should be continuously reviewed and updated to account for new information, threats, and vulnerabilities. This ensures that an organization or military unit is always prepared and able to protect its critical information effectively.


  1. DoDD 5205.02E PDF

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