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Cyber War Testing and Training Exercises: EUCOM’s Cyber Endeavor and Combined Endeavor
By Evan Guthrie
“Cyber warfare training” is emerging as a new military discipline, and according to a recent article from Defense Systems, the U.S. military has now made cyber security education and conditioning mandatory during basic training. Cyber warfare training is done in various ways, from in-depth classroom studies, to live exercises using federated cyber ranges, similar to the one deployed by our customer Northrop Grumman. It has become obvious that nation states and military organizations must prepare themselves and train their personnel to recognize, prevent and combat cyber attacks.
This evolution in training has also been apparent within the U.S. European Command (EUCOM). In fact, since 1995 EUCOM has annually conducted the "Combined Endeavor" event to support command and control for military operations and conduct exercises to measure and validate the resiliency of mission-critical network infrastructure. For the past couple years EUCOM has also conducted "Cyber Endeavor" to prepare and train NATO and partner nations for cyber attacks.
EUCOM Cyber War Testing and Training
Combined Endeavor (video link) is the largest communications interoperability event in the world, bringing together more than 40 NATO and partner nations with a mission to ensure that seamless communication among these nations remains available at all times, especially during crisis or high-stress events. During Combined Endeavor, cyber war testing and exercises are conducted to measure and validate the resiliency of mission-critical network infrastructure. EUCOM also conducts the Cyber Endeavor (video link) security collaboration and engagement program during these exercises, which provides cyber defense familiarization and training. Cyber Endeavor allows participants to hone their cyber warrior skills by taking part in live cyber range testing to learn how to identify and respond to attacks.
For the second straight year, BreakingPoint’s cyber range products were used during both Combined Endeavor and Cyber Endeavor to create the business, recreational and malicious actions of millions of wired and wireless users for these live cyber war testing and training exercises. In the video below you can watch Cyber Endeavor participants training with BreakingPoint personnel. Our team helped the participants with many exercises, including how to validate the resiliency of crucial lawful intercept systems to cyber attack by creating “needle in a haystack” scenarios using blended applications, live cyber attacks, and even malformed traffic. My colleague Gregory Fresnais International Business Development Director, who with Laurent Chabenet, International Sales System Engineer, helped lead the BreakingPoint team during Cyber Endeavor, sums it up nicely in the video, "it is important for the country to take cyber defense seriously...we train people to practice in the lab environment, as we feel they can improve the performance and security of their network."
Admiral Stavridis, Commander of the EUCOM, points out to the participants that "cyber represents the greatest mismatch between the potential threat and our level of preparation." And just like any other warriors, cyber warriors must be equipped with the proper tools for training and exercises. BreakingPoint’s cyber range solutions allow military organizations, such as EUCOM, to create Internet-scale cyber war conditions in a controlled environment to practice their cyber defense skills, advance research and development, and conduct real-world red team, blue team scenarios.
Watch the informative video taken during Cyber Endeavor 2011 for more information about the exercises and BreakingPoint’s work during the event:
- BreakingPoint SCOUT Cyber Warrior Training Program
- The Case for Enterprise Cyber Ranges
- Cyber Security Training Curriculum Takes a Front Seat
- BreakingPoint Cyber Range Deployment
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