Allies shifting to information dominance in upcoming cyber exercise

Danish soldier participating in 2009 NATO Exercise Combined Endeavor.

From Shaun M. Cavanaugh, EUCOM:  This year, Cyber Endeavor will run almost three weeks from 5-22 September in Grafenwöhr, Germany. There will be the basic cyber defense familiarization on technical security topics ranging from securely configuring firewalls, working with intrusion detection systems, and forensics collection. A familiarization track will also be provided to mid-level managers at the policy-level, covering topics such as risk management, current industry security tools, and threats to networks. Participants will also take part in a live-fire, cyber range and learn how to identify, stop, respond to, and fight through an attack in a safe, fully enclosed environment.

For the first time in the 17-year history of Combined Endeavor, the scenario will have cyber events injected to test the readiness and response capabilities of multi-national forces. Combined Endeavor is no longer a communications exercise focused solely on ensuring communication and interoperability. It has shifted to also ensuring decision-makers can access the data and information necessary for Coalition Information Dominance. Information dominance leads to decision superiority and that’s ultimately what coalition leaders want from their communications and information systems. Cyber Endeavor will be key as it will ensure the confidentiality, integrity, availability, non-repudiation, and authentication of that information as well as raising the cyber awareness level of the participants taking part in the exercise.

Shaun M. Cavanaugh, International Cyber Defense Specialist and Cyber Patriot.  (photo:

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