Cyber Storm: Strengthening Cyber Preparedness

By on

This past April, McAfee employees joined with more than 2000 members of the private industry, federal government, and international partners to participate in a three-day cyber exercise called Cyber Storm, led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The goal of the exercise was to simulate discovery and response to a large-scale, coordinated cyber-attack impacting the U.S. critical infrastructure, and improve cybersecurity coordination for the nation.

These exercises are part of DHS’s ongoing efforts to assess and strengthen cyber preparedness and examine incident response processes. The Cyber Storm series also strengthens information sharing partnerships among federal, state, international, and private-sector partners. During the three-day exercise, we simulated a cyber crisis of national and international consequence. This exercise gave the McAfee team the ability to test both internal and external incident response processes in a safe venue.

While DHS does not disclose specific details about the scenario for operational security purposes, Cyber Storm VI featured a multi-sector cyber-attack targeting critical infrastructure that produced realistic global events with varied impacts. McAfee was one of over 100 participating public and private sector organizations.

I had the opportunity to be one of the members sitting inside ExCon or exercise control. This was the nucleus of the cyber exercise! It was a busy three days as new incidents were sent out, watching how teams responded, and adjusting if things didn’t go exactly as planned. This simulation allowed us to learn and gave us a unique opportunity to raise our game. We now have more processes in place ready to deal with cyber-attacks if they were to occur. The teams executed well, revealing the strengths of our critical relationships with government agencies and other private sector organizations.

I was particularly impressed how DHS executed and collaborated with all the various organizations participating. Because the participants took it seriously, it made it feel very real. Given the well-founded concerns around cybersecurity and the demands the cyber threat landscape regularly places on us, it was great to see different organizations from different agencies and vertical industry segments coming together when needed. Such large-scale simulation was no easy feat, but the core planning team in conjunction with all the organization planners made it run without a hitch. For more information on Cyber Storm, visit

Categories: Business

Leave a Comment

Similar articles

Data Privacy Day has particular relevance this year, as 2018 brought privacy into focus in ways other years have not. Ironically, in the same year that the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, the public also learned of glaring misuses of personal information and a continued stream of personal data ...
Read Blog
Earlier last year, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) put out a call for public comment on criteria for identifying emerging technologies that could potentially be subject to future export control regulations. The tech industry responded in full force, providing recommendations for how the federal government can ensure U.S. competitiveness in ...
Read Blog
Cybersecurity is playing an increasingly greater role in our government and economy. As our world becomes more interconnected, the cyberthreat landscape is growing and rapidly evolving. To address both physical threats and cyberthreats, the leading federal agency must have the flexibility and resources to quickly mitigate any potential interruptions or harm. Last week, a critical ...
Read Blog