recommended reading

The future of cybersecurity could be sitting in an office in New Jersey

SANS Institute

The Sans Institute was founded in 1989, and currently leads information-security training for military, government, and civilian officials -- sessions that tend to specialize, these days, in digital forensics and network penetration testing. For the past few years, SANS has been running computer simulation training games (the aptly named "NetWars") for members of the military. But those simulations, officials realized, were insufficient to prepare people for the threats we face -- because cybersecurity, its name notwithstanding, doesn't merely concern cyber-environments. Our physical infrastructures -- our streetlights and power grids and airports and hospitals -- are also connected to, and reliant on, computer networks. Which means that, in a predictable yet fairly horrible twist, our cities themselves are vulnerable to cyber attacks.

So SANS, to account for all that, built a new model, this one intended to capture the "kinetic effects" of cyber warfare -- and meant to emphasize the connection between invisible data and physical destruction. And the game that SANS built, CyberCity, is equal parts hilarious and terrifying: a modified model-train town, 6 feet by 8 feet in width, constructed -- hilariously, terrifyingly -- with parts from a local hobby shop. The game that is trying to prepare the powerful for impending cyberwarfare is currently, Fast CoExist reports, "sitting in an office in New Jersey."

Here's Emily Badger, explaining the 21st-century version of a 19th-century amusement:

CyberCity has its own train network, a hospital, a bank, a military complex, and a coffee shop complete with--and this is crucial to the exercise at hand--free Wi-Fi. The town is virtually populated by 15,000 people, each with their own data records and electronic hospital files. Much of the model town literally came from a hobby shop, but the technology and systems that make it run are modeled on the real world. The power grid components, for example, are the same ones you'd find in an actual city.

Read more at The Atlantic

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion / Software vulnerability

Hundreds of Thousands of Job Seekers' Information May Have Been Compromised by Hackers

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.