U.S. and EU Test Cybersecurity Protocols

What happens when you mix cybersecurity experts from 16 European countries and a delegation from the U.S.? Cyber-Atlantic 2011! This international security exercise, which took place on November 3 in Brussels, Belgium, tested the ability of multiple nations to share information across varied systems of security protocols and permissions.

Deemed a “table-top” exercise, the event was in response to another U.S./EU summit held in Lisbon, Portugal, last year. That exercise focused on new threats to the global network of U.S. and EU companies and governmental institutions upon which the livelihood and security of free societies depended on.

During Cyber-Atlantic 2011, two scenarios were attempted. The first was an advanced threat exercise, followed by a controlled-systems situation in the afternoon. The controlled-system scenario was based on the WikiLeaks brand of cyberattack — an attempt was made to steal secrets from European Union cybersecurity agencies and put them online.

With the lines between military, national and civilian online targets becoming increasingly blurred, it is essential that nongovernmental targets be assessed, according to a report by http://www.philly.com, and effective security strategies to protect these vulnerable areas be developed.

What was learned from this particular exercise? That both U.S. and EU agencies had a similar level of understanding in regards to cybersecurity and were basically on the same page on how to protect critical infrastructure. The bigger challenge was the political aspect of dealing with individual nations and how to share information between those nations without compromising security. With all the different hierarchies, each uniquely organized for the needs of individual countries, communication was and remains a challenge.

With cybercriminals seemingly always two steps ahead of security experts, working together to ensure that all are protected is crucial. The Cyber-Atlantic 2011 exercise went a long ways toward demonstrating the need to develop ways of effective and safe communication between businesses and government agencies across the globe, and helping to build the relationships necessary to make such a reality possible.

For more information about the results of Cyber-Atlantic 2011, visit: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/133755793.html