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National Cyber Security Division Cyber Exercise Program

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					                                                     National Cyber Security Division
                                                              Cyber Exercise Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is                    Through exercises,
responsible for safeguarding our Nation’s critical              participants are able to
infrastructure from physical and cyber threats that can         validate policies, plans,
affect our national security, public safety, and economic       procedures, processes,
prosperity. The National Cyber Security Division                and capabilities that
(NCSD) is the Department’s lead agency for securing             enable preparation,
cyberspace and our Nation’s cyber assets and networks.          prevention, response,
                                                                recovery, and continuity
Critical infrastructures are dependent on information           of operations (COOP).
technology systems and computer networks for essential          The controlled
operations. Particular emphasis should be placed on the         environment allows
reliability and resiliency of the systems that comprise and     stakeholders to safely
interconnect these infrastructures. NCSD collaborates with      explore real-world
partners from across public, private, and international         situations, to improve
communities to advance this goal by developing and              communication and
implementing coordinated security measures to protect           coordination, and to advance the efficacy of the broad-
against physical and cyber threats.                             based critical infrastructure protection partnership.

NCSD also seeks to assess and mitigate cyber                    Building Relationships through Exercises
vulnerabilities, and to integrate cyber security best
practices into national preparedness and response efforts.      Exercises are an effective tool to assess preparedness and
In addition to the Department’s principal national-level        to identify areas for improvement absent the consequences
                                   exercise series Cyber        of an actual incident. By engaging in the full exercise
                                   Storm, NCSD focuses          process – from planning through evaluation – participants
                                   on developing proactive      are also able to establish and strengthen relationships that
                                   measures in areas such       result in improved awareness, policy development, and
                                   as critical infrastructure   information sharing. The NCSD-CEP engages public and
                                   protection, incident         private sector partners in the planning process so that
                                   response, software           scenarios and objectives reflect the input and requirements
                                   assurance, control systems   of all involved.
                                   security, stakeholder
                                   awareness, and training      The interconnected nature of cyberspace and the
                                   and education.               interdependencies between critical infrastructures
                                                                demand this kind of diverse involvement by partner and
                                                                stakeholder organizations. From emergency managers,
NCSD Cyber Exercises Enhance Cyber                              homeland security advisors, state and local government
Preparedness                                                    officials, to law enforcement, private sector owners
The NCSD–Cyber Exercise Program (CEP) improves                  and operators as well as academia, media outlets, and
the Nation’s cyber security readiness, protection, and          community groups, the NCSD-CEP creates an environment
incident response capabilities by developing, designing,        for all of these partners to avail themselves of the different
and conducting cyber exercises and workshops at the State,      perspectives and mutually beneficial relationships that
Federal, regional, and international level. The NCSD-CEP        emerge through the exercise process.
employs scenario-based exercises that focus on risks to the
cyber and information technology infrastructure.
NCSD Exercise Activities                                                • Federal Exercises: The NCSD-CEP actively participates
                                                                          in planning and executing intra- and inter-agency
As a leader in cyber exercise design and facilitation, NCSD-
                                                                          national level exercises requiring a coordinated Federal
CEP has created an array of exercise approaches to address                response under the National Response Framework
a range of threats, scenarios, and partner capabilities. The              (NRF). This planning includes coordination with
NCSD-CEP is committed to fostering an environment                         the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
for information sharing and collaboration across the                      exercise initiatives, the TOP OFFICIALS exercise
full spectrum of partner groups and jurisdictions. The                    series (TOPOFF), and other federal agency exercises
NCSD-CEP complies with the DHS Homeland Security                          as appropriate. The NCSD-CEP also plans exercises
Exercise Evaluation Program Guidelines (HSEEP) for                        with the National Cyber Response and Coordination
the development and execution of its exercises, and                       Group (NCRCG), a forum of 13 principal agencies that
shares lessons learned through the DHS Lessons Learned                    coordinates intra-governmental preparedness operations
Information Sharing portal (LLIS).                                        for responding to large-scale cyber attacks.

Examples of NCSD-CEP exercise efforts:                                  • Regional Coalitions: The NCSD-CEP engages with
                                                                          regional partners to manage and mitigate cyber risks.
• Cyber Storm Exercise Series: The National Cyber                         The NCSD-CEP has facilitated and participated in several
  Exercise Series - Cyber Storm - improves incident                       tabletop exercises in the Gulf Coast, Pacific Northwest,
  response and coordination capabilities by assessing                     and Northeast regions to strengthen all-hazards and
  communications, coordination, and relationships                         cross-sector response and to mitigate the consequences
  in response to a large-scale cyber incident. The                        of cyber incidents.
  program focuses on simulated cyber-specific threat
  scenarios intended to highlight critical infrastructure               • International Partnerships: The international
  interdependencies and further integrate Federal, State,                 community recognizes that cyberspace does not adhere
  international and private sector response and recovery                  to political or geographical boundaries. The CEP
  efforts. As the Department’s cyber exercise sponsor,                    supports efforts to improve international cooperation on
  NCSD hosted the first Cyber Storm exercise in February                  cyber security topics through bilateral and multi-lateral
  2006, and the second in March 2008. The Cyber                           efforts. The NCSD-CEP also leads exercise workshops at
  Storm series was created to support the goals laid out                  a variety of international conferences to advance cyber
  in both the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace and                  security coordination strategies worldwide.
  Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8.

• State Exercises: The NCSD-CEP facilitates the design
  of tabletop and functional exercises at the State level.
  Upon request, NCSD-CEP provides subject matter
  expertise to States to help familiarize emergency
  managers and incident responders with roles,
  responsibilities, policies, plans, and procedures related
  to cyber incidents.


                        For more information please visit:
                        •	   National	Cyber	Security	Division:		www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0839.shtm
                        •	   United	States	Computer	Emergency	Readiness	Team	(US-CERT):		www.us-cert.gov
                        •	   DHS	Homeland	Security	Exercise	Evaluation	Program	(HSEEP):		www.hseep.dhs.gov
                        •	   DHS	Lessons	Learned	Information	Sharing	(LLIS):		www.llis.dhs.gov

				
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