Cyber Practices Among Private Entities Involved in Critical Infrastructure Discussion

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I wanted to talk about an initiative that is helping to improve cyber practices among private entities involved in critical infrastructure. Recently, at the end of March of this year, DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded $5.9 million to the Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) for them to expand a really neat program called the Distributed Environment for Critical Infrastructure Decision-Making Exercises (DECIDE). DECIDE is platform for cyber training that is aimed at energy sector companies, specifically for practicing different simulated scenarios involving the energy sector and other “war-game” type situations.

Honestly, more development of tools like this could be super beneficial in all areas of critical infrastructure. This platform provides an excellent way to practice and learn new techniques and procedures for when crises happen. This is largely cyber-based, sure, but it can also be applied in other areas as well. Some of the situations it can simulate include limited resources, system instability, cascading failures due to the actions of operators (or just as a result of system failures for any reason), man-made issues, and other mystery errors. This program seems to provide a more advanced level of simulation that tries to hit on every issue possible, in hopes operators are able to overcome it and keep our critical infrastructure running.

I am sure there are some private entities probably conducting some sort of similar scenario-based exercises, but this mega-scenario platform seems to be a great way for everyone in CIKR to keep up to date and ensure that they are indeed actually conducting these exercises and staying proficient. You can read more about DECIDE here.

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