The call to improve the cybersecurity of our nation’s critical infrastructure began with the signing of an Executive Order in February of 2013. Critical infrastructure includes services such as electricity generation, transmission, and distribution, water supply, financial services, and public health. They are the things that, if destroyed or disabled could have a debilitating effect on our society and economy.
The infrastructure of the United States is run by computers, and that means that they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Whether from cybercriminals, hackers, or hacktivists, cyber-attacks are growing in frequency and sophistication, and the risk of infection could have dire consequences.
One of the ways the Army National Guard is helping to defend our critical infrastructure and develop the next generation of Cyber Warriors is with Cyber Shield, a defensively-focused cyber training exercise. Designed to hone and test the cyber defense skills of the National Guard and partner cyber defenders, this year’s event kicked off in Camp Atterbury, Indiana, on April 18, 2016. The exercise drew about 1000 participants from the National Guard, Homeland Security, other military components, FBI, and industry partners from all 50 states and four territories.
Andrew Sylvia, Senior Cybersecurity Professional at Tyler Cybersecurity, participated in this year’s event. In a SANS Institute CyberCity training exercise, Andrew competed with other participants from Maine, which included men and women from the Army National Guard and Air National Guard. Their task was to try to gain access and take control back of CyberCity from fictional cyber criminals. The Maine team finished second overall, which landed them in the finals, where they were suddenly changed to a defense team against the SANS instructors. Unfortunately there were other teams who better defended their castles, but it was a good learning experience for all.
“Tyler is honored for the opportunity to participate in Exercise Cyber Shield,” said Rick Simonds, Chief Operating Officer at Tyler Data Security. “It means a lot for our company to be able to take part in an exercise that helps strengthen our national defense.”
The main event of Cyber Shield is a training exercise that puts participants in a real-world scenario. They are divided into teams. Red Team members are the opposition, trying to hack their way in to exploit systems and wreak havoc. Blue Team members are the defenders, trying to thwart attacks and mitigate damages.
As part of the Red Team, Andrew and his fellow teammates were tasked with building out their attack infrastructure, infecting the Blue enclaves with malicious software, and maintaining control of Blue assets while executing attacks to exercise Blue defenses. Andrew was recognized for his role as trainer – both to his fellow team members on exploitation techniques as well as to the Blue Teams members, discussing daily injects and possible mitigation techniques.
According to Major Michael L Ehrstein, Red Team Leader, “Andrew was an excellent addition to our team and I would love to work with him again in the future. I have nothing but great things to say and his team lead was very happy to have such a talented person on his team.”
Andrew was recognized by his team and the exercise as one of the top performers.
No one is immune to cyber-attacks
Be confident that threats to your network will be detected consistently and accurately with Tyler Detect. Our team of cybersecurity experts actively investigates to find threats and are always ready to offer you support and answer your questions.