Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cyber Guard Exercise Tests People, Partnerships

From a U.S. Cyber Command News Release

FORT MEADE, Md., July 17, 2014 – Partners from across government, academia, industry and the international coalition recently completed Cyber Guard 14-1, a two-week exercise designed to test operational and interagency coordination as well as tactical-level operations in response to a domestic cyberspace incident.

Elements of the National Guard, reserves, National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command exercised their support to Department of Homeland Security and FBI responses to foreign-based attacks on simulated critical infrastructure networks, promoting collaboration and critical information sharing in support of a “whole-of-nation” effort.

“Citizens of our nation are counting on us to generate the necessary capacity and capability to meet the challenges of this problem set,” Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, Cybercom commander and NSA director, said in remarks to more than 70 distinguished visitors to the exercise. “We are continuing to learn and mature. We have to build a construct to work seamlessly and effectively with our partners, and not just within the government, but also with industry and academia – outside [the Defense Department].”

Building and ensuring partnerships, processes, and human and technical capabilities were common themes during the exercise.

“We talk all the time about physical networks connecting computers and communications,” said Robert Anderson, executive assistant director of the FBI’s criminal, cyber response and services branch, in remarks to exercise participants. “But we must remember that on both ends of that computer network, there is a network of people working toward a common goal: to defeat our adversaries. Cyber Guard helps us get better at using the network of warriors on the front lines — like you — to achieve our goal.”

The event, executed by Cybercom and hosted by the FBI at the National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, was the largest yet, hosting more than 550 participants, roughly double the number who participated last year. Continuing the event’s evolution into a holistic, whole-of-nation effort, observers from academia, private industry and state utilities were on hand to observe.

In the event of a domestic cyber incident, federal agencies have specific, complementary roles, officials said.

DHS is the lead for coordinating the protection, prevention, mitigation of, and recovery from a cyber incident. The Justice Department and the FBI are responsible for the investigation, attribution, disruption and prosecution of domestic cyber crimes, as well as the collection, analysis and dissemination of domestic cyber threat intelligence. DoD is responsible for defending the nation from attack, collecting, analyzing and distributing foreign threat intelligence, and supporting DHS in their protection, prevention and recovery role.

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