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    Challengers, leaders continue to explore new territory at 2017 Cyber X-Games

    Challengers, leaders continue to explore new territory at 2017 Cyber X-Games

    Photo By Sgt. Erick Yates | Alan Levine, the Global Chief Information Security Officer for Alcoa, Inc. (Retired)...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Erick Yates 

    U.S. Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade

    PITTSBURG, Pa. – Cyber defenders and leaders explored new challenges while seeking to enhance skills at Cyber X-Games 2017, held June 15-19 at Carnegie Mellon University.

    Cyber X-Games, hosted by the Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group (ARCOG), 335th Signal Command Theater, is a five-day exercise focusing on advanced areas of cyber security training. Approximately 50 U.S. military personnel working in cyber defense representing units from the 335th Signal Command (Theater), the Defense Information Systems Agency, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Pennsylvania National Guard, and Pennsylvania Air National Guard, attended this year’s challenge.

    “The setup for this year was well done thanks to the Software Engineering Institute at CMU,” said Lt. Col. Michael Lewis, the ARCOG’s operations officer, and a lead coordinator of the event.

    He shared how the SEI staff took great care in putting together a good training environment and a challenging scenario for the military personnel attending to learn from.

    The areas of Cyber detection, response and recovery were the overall focus for this year’s X-Games.

    The challenges and training this year took an approach that made participants understand that there is more to the underlying concept of cyber defensive and offensive postures. Knowing the fundamentals of cyber training and applying those specific skills is key even when operating at an advanced level, said Lewis.

    One aspect the scenarios focused on this year was getting the challengers to understand what it’s like to interact with other nations in a cyber environment, and seeing the ramifications unfold when infringing upon a partnership nation’s network infrastructure.

    “I think this year, participants gained a lot of knowledge out of the training,” said Lewis.

    Capt. Joel A. Candelario, with the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Defensive Cyber Operations Element, Joint Force Headquarters, said he attended the event to look for new ways to improve team collaboration and become more efficient in tracking and reporting procedures.

    “Having a participant personally thank you for taking the time to put on this event really means a lot,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christopher Manuel, The ARCOG’s special projects officer, who is also a lead coordinator of Cyber X-Games.

    Both Manuel and Lewis, worked in coordinating the ARCOG’s involvement with Cyber Endeavor as well. Cyber Endeavor is the Department of Defense-sponsored conference for military and civilian practitioners from across government, industry and academia to address the nexus of cyberspace and national security, as described on the conference web site. This event was held June 20-22, immediately after the X-games.

    Manuel agreed, both events offer a great venue for sharing, collaboration and forum discussions on the evolving career path of cyber defense and how to integrate new training ideas into the military’s cyber operations and training.

    “The Cyber X-Games provided valuable experience and allowed participants to exercise critical thinking skills,” said Col. Michael D. Smith, the ARCOG commander.

    As the ARCOG’s mission is defensive cyber operations, expanding the scenarios to focus on offensive operations provided an advanced training environment, allowing a broader spectrum for teams to understand the adversary’s offensive capabilities, and to develop and implement defensive posture response actions that degrade and deny the adversaries' access to their networks, explained Smith.



    Date Taken: 06.24.2017
    Date Posted: 06.24.2017 21:16
    Story ID: 239109
    Location: PITTSBURGH, PA, US 

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