Coast Guard on leading edge with Cyber Guardian exercise

Story by Lt. Mark Briggs

Capt. Anthony Popiel speaks to the participants of Cyber Guardian 2013.  U.S. Coast Guard photo

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina and the North Carolina Area Maritime Security Committee conducted a Cyber Terrorism Tabletop Exercise, Cyber Guardian 2013 on Wednesday.

Cyber Guardian 2013 was designed to provide personnel from Sector North Carolina, industry stakeholders, and the local state and federal agencies insight and awareness into cyber terrorism and how it relates to the federal, state and local government as well as the industrial sector. Participants discussed the impacts of cyber terrorism, available preventative options and recovery procedures following an attack.

The key speakers for Cyber Guardian 2013 are shown here, April 24, 2013.  U.S. Coast Guard photo

The key speakers for Cyber Guardian 2013 are shown here, April 24, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo

In 2009, President Obama declared our nation’s digital infrastructure a national strategic asset. On Feb. 12, 2013, the president issued Executive Order – Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity and signed Presidential Policy Directive -21: Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience.

In these documents, the president states:

“It is the policy of the United States to enhance the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure and to maintain a cyber environment that encourages efficiency, innovation and economic prosperity while promoting safety, security, business confidentiality, privacy and civil liberties. We can achieve these goals through a partnership with the owners and operators of critical infrastructure to improve cybersecurity information sharing and collaboratively develop and implement risk-based standards.”

His statement encapsulates the goal of the Cyber Guardian exercise.

This exercise was originally planned as part of the federally mandated Area Maritime Security Training Exercise Program but had become an important part of a process to better prepare our organizations to cooperate to protect our critical infrastructure and combat cyber terrorism. Cyber Guardian 2013 had been on the schedule in North Carolina for many years now, and with the most recent national focus on cyber security puts the Coast Guard in North Carolina on the leading edge of cyber preparedness in the maritime environment.

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