Opinion: Government and industry unite in Cyber Storm II cybercrime battle

War games with entities that can actually engage in warThis week, private industry, Federal, state and local, and even some international government organizations are joining forces in an exercise to fight cyber attackers — not fending off actual attackers, but dealing with a cyberwar “worst-case scenario” designed to find our weaknesses before less friendly entities do. The exercise, Cyber Storm II, is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security.Cyberattacks of varying degree and damage happen daily. The US government takes these cyber attacks seriously, and has stepped up its training and threat preparedness strategy to try to keep one step ahead. Simulations such as Cyber Storm II are part of that effort, and the exercise plays a vital role in enhancing the nation’s cybersecurity — well beyond the exercise itself.This year’s exercise promises to be the nation’s most comprehensive cybersecurity exercise — vital for assessing response capabilities and setting cybersecurity priorities. Participants will include representatives from over 18 Federal agencies, 9 states, 40 private-sector companies, and four international partners.
computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9068082DHS Holds Cyber Storm II Exercise to Further Cyber Security Preparedness and Response Capabilities [news release]
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is conducting the largest cyber security exercise ever organized. Cyber Storm II is being held from March 10-14 in Washington, D.C. and brings together participants from federal, state and local governments, the private sector, and the international community.Cyber Storm II is the second in a series of congressionally mandated exercises that will examine the nation’s cyber security preparedness and response capabilities. The exercise will simulate a coordinated cyber attack on information technology, communications, chemical, and transportation systems and assets.”Securing cyberspace is vital to maintaining America’s strategic interests, public safety, and economic prosperity,” said Greg Garcia, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Communications. “Exercises like Cyber Storm II help to ensure that the public and private sectors are prepared for an effective response to attacks against our critical systems and networks.”Cyber Storm II will include 18 federal departments and agencies, nine states (Calif., Colo., Del., Ill., Mich., N.C., Pa., Texas and Va.), five countries (United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom), and more than 40 private sector companies. They include ABB, Inc., Air Products, Cisco, Dow Chemical Company Inc., Harris Corporation, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Microsoft, NeuStar, PPG Industries, and Wachovia.Cyber Storm II objectives include:

  • examining the capabilities of participating organizations to prepare for, protect against, and respond to the potential effects of cyber attacks
  • exercising strategic decision making and interagency coordination of incident response in accordance with national level policy and procedures
  • validating information sharing relationships and communications paths for the collection and dissemination of cyber incident situational awareness, response and recovery information
  • examining means and processes through which to share sensitive information across boundaries and sectors without compromising proprietary or national security interests

For more information on Cyber Storm II visit:
http://www.dhs.gov/xprepresp/training/gc_1204738275985.shtmThis news release is available from:
http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1205180340404.shtm

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