Exercise simulates cyber attacks on power grid and state government

Exercise simulates cyber attacks on power grid and state government

Bill Stephens

October 13th, 2016



FRANKFORT, Ky. (October 12, 2016) – How would Kentucky react if a hackers took down the power grid over a quarter of the state, while a separate cyber incident simultaneously threatened to steal data from a number of state government computer networks?

The growing threat of computer networks and systems becoming infected from malicious software brought together more than fifty participants, including information technology experts, state and federal law enforcement, private sector representatives and Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton to a training exercise today hosted by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS).

“A primary goal of the initiative is for states to develop strategies for strengthening cyber security practices across the Commonwealth,” explained KOHS Executive Director John Holiday. “The summit brings together state policy leaders, as well as private sector experts and federal partners, to highlight innovative practices and identify ways in which state-driven solutions can be replicated nationwide.”

“With more of our infrastructure dependent on the Internet and emerging technologies, building a strong network of defense against cyber attacks is critical for Kentucky,” said Lt. Gov. Hampton.

During the simulation, participants reacted to an ever-evolving threat scenario, forcing them to implement and test their emergency action plans in real time. Following the exercise, event organizers led participants through a thorough review and critique of their performance.

“The most critical element to a training exercise is the after action review,” Holiday stated. “It is only through intense and objective analysis that best practices are established. Furthermore, it is imperative that best practices be disseminated, which is why our Kentucky Intelligence Fusion Center assembles and shares information with our collaborative partners throughout Kentucky.”

The exercise, co-hosted by the Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), included participants from the FBI and a number of state entities, including the Department of Corrections, Kentucky National Guard, Kentucky State Police, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department of Revenue, Finance Cabinet, along with private sector representatives from Louisville Gas and Electric.

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