War begins on cyber threats

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The first Cyber War Games is being hosted by the federal government.

Players from 10 different agencies will be involved in realistic simulations where they must find solutions to cyber threats.

The principal architect of the war games, Department of Human Services Chief Information Security Officer Narelle Devine, said the strong participation from other agencies was very encouraging.

“Cyber attacks are a serious and constantly evolving threat that has the potential to cost governments more than a major natural disaster,” Devine said.

“To best protect the information and security of the Australian community, it’s important we understand how cunning cybercriminals operate by giving teams the opportunity to attack as well as defend.

“Cybercriminals won’t be knocking at the front door, so our defenders need to have the skills and experience to be able to find them first.”

The competition will take place in front of seven expert adjudicators with a combined wealth of domestic and international cybersecurity experience.

Among them is former commander of the US Navy Pacific Fleet and current vice president for customer education at international cybersecurity company FireEye Admiral Patrick Walsh.

Admiral Walsh said the games would have significant benefits to the Australian cybersecurity sector.

“This exercise simulates realistic scenarios in a competitive environment where teams can sharpen skills and focus on the proficiency, currency and readiness levels necessary to succeed against increasingly sophisticated cyber security threats,” Admiral Walsh said.

“Having some of the best and brightest cyber minds from across government and industry together in the same room will generate new ideas and approaches that will only strengthen Australia’s cyber defence capability.”

The games will run from 18–22 September with teams set to compete in a series of unique challenges to test and demonstrate their capabilities in the cyber world.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Евгений Якимович

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