CCI joins NATO Cyber Coalition 2020
In November, former-military members of CCI joined the Irish Team for Exercise Cyber Coalition, which is NATO’s flagship annual Cyber Defence Exercise.
For the first time in 13 years, due to COVID-19 precautionary measures, the exercise was executed in a virtual environment. Trainers and participants connected to the event through Estonia's Cyber Security Training Centre. The Cyber Coalition exercise demonstrates NATO’s capabilities to protect its own IT networks 24 hours a day from cyber-attacks and to share information about cyber threats in real-time with Allies and Partners including the EU, even during a pandemic.
Irish participants included members of the Irish Permanent Defence Forces (PDF), Trend Micro, National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and members of the Reserve Defence Forces (RDF) who work in companies. The event was also a chance to strengthen relationships among the Irish Cyber Security Community.
CCI members contributed by providing training to exercise troops in preparation for the exercise, while also taking part in the exercise as participants. There was also support from CCI in the form of supplying IT infrastructure for the exercise.
Background to Exercise Cyber Coalition
This annual exercise is one of the largest in the world with 1000 participants from 25 NATO Allied Nations, 4 Partner Nations and the European Union. It is used to train and test military and civilian cyber defence personnel world wide. It practices and tests decision making processes, technical and operational procedures, collaboration, and NATO and National Cyber Defence Capabilities. The Irish team comprised personnel from the defence forces, academia and industry, participating both as trainers and participants. Former Irish defence forces personnel working in the NCSC also contribute.
UCD CCI supports the Defence Forces with training in digital forensics and network investigations. Over the past 14 years, 100 current and former members have completed the UCD MSc Forensic Computing & Cybercrime Investigation.
“I would like to thank CCI and Mike O'Callaghan for the instruction he gave during two of our training periods in September and November. His computer forensic and network investigation training combined with the associated practical exercises were of a first class standard and of great benefit to all of those involved. Mike displayed not only his mastery of the subject matter but also his excellent natural instructional abilities” Lieutenant Colonel CJ Cullan, Deputy Director Directorate of Communication and Information Services, Irish Defence Forces