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UC prepares to host statewide cybersecurity exercise | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

In a training exercise, the teams responding to an attack are able to consult with and receive guidance from the event organizers and the group performing the cyberattacks. In a validation exercise, they don’t receive that extra guidance as they have to demonstrate they can respond to a critical cybersecurity incident.

Based on their performance, teams can be recommended for validation to the adjutant general of Ohio.

“They are seeing this all within the virtual environment and made to believe, even though they know it’s a game, but made to believe that these truly are hackers and APTs (advanced persistent threats) that are attacking this network that they need to protect,” Michael said. “Once they’re validated, that means something for the State of Ohio. That means they are a validated incident responder in the Ohio Cyber Reserves, and when a city has an incident, then they will want to send out those validated cyber reservists because they know that they are prepared.”

The cyber exercises include blue teams, who are the reservists responding to the attacks. The red teams perform the cyberattacks, which could be from state-sponsored groups, insider threats, criminals seeking monetary gain, hacktivists who are seeking to make a political statement or people simply causing chaos for fun.

The white cell coordinates the exercise.

Michael served as lead for white cell communication at the DOD’s Cyber Shield event. With her, Christine Bourgholtzer, a cybersecurity and information technology student who is entering her final year of studies at UC, also attended and worked with the white cell.

“It was amazing,” Bourgholtzer said. “In every room and every situation, through everyone you talked to, there was something to learn. It was a great learning experience. It was overwhelming, but it was awesome.”


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National Cyber Security