NORTHFIELD, Vt., Aug. 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (DHS S &T) directorate intends to award NUARI a $9.9 million contract for technologies and systems to help financial institutions, government agencies and other critical infrastructure respond to cyber attacks through expansion of capabilities of its DECIDE software platform.
Leahy announced the DHS action Thursday during an address at Norwich University's Sullivan Museum and History Center.
"It always impresses me — but never surprises me — when I hear about Norwich University's success readying our military and security leaders for today's challenges while continuing its historic mission of developing the military leaders of tomorrow," said Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate's Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate's work in writing the annual defense budget bill. "This $9.9 million in additional contracts will keep Norwich growing in the crucial and cutting-edge arena of cyber security, and growing as an essential part of the community in Northfield," he said.
NUARI has collaborated with Department of Homeland Security for nearly a decade, preparing individuals and institutions to respond to catastrophic network failures, natural disasters, Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks and other events that can impact market activity, communications, and essential services affecting critical infrastructures. DECIDE-FS®, created at NUARI, is a massive, multi-participant simulation that effectively immerses c-suite decision makers, securities traders, IT and business continuity managers and others into complex, simulated scenarios focused on the effects of cyber incidents as well as other hazards.
Through the simulation, individuals and organizations learn to operate under stressful conditions—similar to how simulators are employed to condition the response of pilots and mariners to emergencies—as well as develop more persistent tactics for countering the unknown. DECIDE, in part, grew out of war game simulations, which have been used for decades by military organizations to validate strategies and tactics and refine response plans.
DECIDE-FS® was at the core of the Quantum Dawn series of exercises designed to improve resiliency of financial institutions to cyber incidents. Over 500 individuals and 40 plus financial institutions participated last month in Quantum Dawn 2, which simulated a situation in which rogue code initiated a flood of erroneous trades and market oscillations that could lead to shutting down the market. Quantum Dawn 2, the largest Financial Services Sector exercise to date, provided the opportunity for assessing corporate and sector response plans to cyber incidents and several other hazards. Approximately 53% of exchanges suffered a cyber attack in the last year, according to the World Federation of Exchanges.
"Experience is the best teacher. Improving a collective response in the face of an evolving advanced persistence threat is a continuous process. An immersive, stressful and adaptable simulation environment, employed with a thinking adversary, is critical to preparing individuals and organizations for the fog of war, when quick, but clear thinking and cooperation are essential," said NUARI President Phil Susmann. "Realistic training, with measurable consequences to an organization's value chain, encourages individual and institutional information sharing, cooperation and coordination. Attacks are inevitable. Building resiliency within critical infrastructures is paramount, not optional."
Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) was federally chartered under legislation sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy in 2002 and is funded in part through the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. NUARI has a national center to address cyber incident management challenges through research, training programs and technology development and has been a global leader for more than a decade in developing cyber war gaming, distributed learning technology, distributed simulation technology, critical infrastructure exercises, and cyber security curriculum.
DECIDE-FS® exercises serve to strengthen the resilience of the nation's critical infrastructures in the face of cyber attacks from nation-states and trans-national actors.
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu
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