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Cyber research project to be hosted in Charleston, Savannah

Staff Report //January 16, 2020//

Cyber research project to be hosted in Charleston, Savannah

Staff Report //January 16, 2020//

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West Point’s Army Cyber Institute is partnering with business advisory firm FTI Consulting to hold the third installment of its Jack Voltaic Cyber Research Project in Charleston and Savannah.

The Army Cyber Institute developed the project in 2016 to bring together public and private-sector partners to examine cyberattacks from the bottom up. It is a multicity, multistate experiment that looks at how infrastructure on local and regional levels would respond to and manage “significant maritime disruption,” according to a news release.

The project will align with Army exercise Defender 2020, using a regional scenario in which civilian infrastructure influences military deployment. Public and commercial infrastructure entities will examine local responders’ coordination, capacity and expertise in cyber-physical incident management, a news release said.

“Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga., are both home to critical infrastructure that supports civilian and commercial activities as well as the deployment of military forces overseas,” said Lt. Col. Doug Fletcher, part of the West Point Army Cyber Institute’s Critical Infrastructure Key Resources team. “Every single city faces cybersecurity threats seeking to exploit vulnerabilities, and Jack Voltaic is a venue by which cities can improve their cyber resiliency through practicing cyber incident response.”

Fletcher said participation in the Jack Voltaic research project has grown each year. The first exercise was hosted in New York City, with Citigroup as the private partner, and the second, in partnership with Aecom and Circadence, was hosted by Houston.

The public sector and private industry have found that shared training events improve incident response and ensure public safety and business resiliency, Fletcher added.

Anthony J. Ferrante, global head of cybersecurity at FTI Consulting, said, “With the rise of internet-connected devices, increases to global internet bandwidth and other innovative technologies, critical infrastructure — from ports to power plants — face more cyberthreats than ever before. The complexity and interconnectivity of industrial control systems require preparation for significant incidents or attacks that could impact operations, and the Jack Voltaic exercise does just that.”

The Jack Voltaic 3.0 Cyber Research Project will culminate April 28-30 in Charleston and Savannah.