Cyber Guard Exercise Tests People
Cyber Guard Exercise Tests
From a U.S. Cyber Command News Release.
Fort Meade, Maryland – (DOD
News) – 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 to protect, prevent, mitigate and recover from 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
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
“Practicing as an interagency team is essential to ensure
national response to cyber events produce results that are effective and
efficient,” said Greg Touhill deputy assistant secretary of homeland security
for cybersecurity operations and programs. “Exercises like Cyber Guard help us
develop and refine key information sharing and coordination processes,
understand each other’s capabilities and authorities, and operate in a manner
that keeps us in the right formation to present the best national response.”
The National Guard plays a key role in directly helping the
states affected by a cyber incident, allowing federal forces to focus on their
more traditional mission. The majority of the participants were National Guard
service members representing 22 states.
The exercise also included several Cyber Protection Teams,
part of Cybercom’s Cyber Mission Force being built over the next few years. The
teams defend DoD information networks and help support DoD’s requirement to
provide foreign intelligence and assessment and active-duty capabilities to
defend the nation.
“Cyber Guard provided an opportunity for agencies to execute
and refine the DoDIN command and control construct model,” said Phil La Perla,
chief of readiness and exercises for the Defense Information Systems Agency.
“The 90th [Cyber Protection Team], aligned to DISA, also benefited by teaming
with the U.S. Coast Guard in defending DoD information networks, building on our
great relationship with DHS.” Some of DISA’s network management teams also
participated in the event.
In addition to the observers, FBI hosted an “Industry Day”
that included 105 participants from a broad cross-section of private industry,
including energy, finance, and information technology security. The event
continued to strengthen relationships with private industry to facilitate
information sharing that could prevent, mitigate or respond to a cyberattack,
“This robust, interagency exercise to defend the nation has
accelerated in maturity over the last three iterations,” said Coast Guard Rear
Adm. Kevin Lunday, Cybercom’s director of training. “We used this event to
develop teamwork and collaboration, and we have gone from just a few Guard teams
two years ago to incorporating critical government and private sector
partnerships to test whole-of-nation solutions in this dynamic domain.”
Eric Rosenbach, deputy assistant secretary of defense for
cyber policy, took note of other ways the exercise has improved and evolved.
“I think it’s really impressive what you’ve done from the
authority, policy and law standpoint,” he said in comments to the distinguished
visitors at the event. “I also think how you’ve connected the technical parts –
the ranges, your tools and capabilities – is also impressive.”
Lunday also noted that in each iteration of the exercise, the
scenarios from the adversary – simulated by a ‘red team’ – get more realistic
and incorporate lessons learned from previous exercises.
“What you’re doing here is critically important to how we
will respond on behalf of our nation to a major cyberattack,” he said. “The more
we know and share about the adversary and the better-defined our processes are,
the better we can defend the nation.”
Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers
U.S. Cyber Command
Special Report: The Cyber Domain