Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

September 13, 2006

DHS releasing report on Cyber Storm exercise

Filed under: Infrastructure Protection,Preparedness and Response — by Christian Beckner on September 13, 2006

The Department of Homeland Security released a report today on the Cyber Storm exercise held several months ago to test cybersecurity response capabilities. The DHS announcement of the report indicates eight major findings in it:

  1. Interagency Coordination: Interagency and cross-sector information sharing enhanced overall coordination, communication and response.
  2. Contingency Planning, Risk Assessment and Roles and Responsibilities: Clearly defined processes and procedures increased overall ability to plan for and assess situations.
  3. Correlation of Multiple Incidents between Public and Private Sectors: The cyber community was effective in addressing individual threats and attacks, but faced challenges in cross-sector situational awareness during a coordinated cyber attack campaign.
  4. Exercise Program: Ongoing exercises will strengthen awareness of cyber incident response, roles, policies, and procedures.
  5. Coordination between Entities of Cyber Incidents: Establishing expectations, roles, processes and communications in advance will dramatically improve coordination and response.
  6. Common Framework for Response to Information Access: Early and ongoing information sharing across governments and sectors created a common framework for response and strengthened relationships between domestic and international response partners.
  7. Strategic Communications and Public Relations: Public messaging is an important aspect of incident response and empowers individuals and industry to take appropriate action to protect themselves and the nation’s critical infrastructure.
  8. Improvement of Process, Tools and Technology: Improved processes, tools and technology focused on the physical, economic and national security affects of a cyber incident will benefit the quality, speed and coordination of a response.

The most interesting of these findings is #3, indicating that officials found it much more difficult to deal with multiple simultaneous attacks. Here’s the full report.

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1 Comment »

Comment by Michael Hampton

September 15, 2006 @ 12:09 pm

Your copy of this report seems to be slightly smaller than the copy I just downloaded from the DHS web site, though I can’t find any particular differences in the text. Any idea why this might be?

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