S&T Awards $5.9M to Expand Critical Infrastructure Protection Platform

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded a total of $5,900,000 to the Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) to expand the Distributed Environment for Critical Infrastructure Decision-Making Exercises (DECIDE)cyber-training platform. DECIDE was originally developed in tandem with and transitioned to the financial services sector; this new effort will build similar simulation-based scenarios and exercises specific to the energy sector.

“DHS S&T is committed to investing in the security of our nation’s critical infrastructure, and that includes ensuring that organizations are properly trained to recognize and respond to potential cyber threats,” said William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “We are excited to soon make this proven platform available to even more of our private sector partners.”

DECIDE allows users to conduct collaborative, realistic, fully immersive, scenario-based exercises where the consequences of each participant’s actions feed back into the exercise. The exercises are designed to help trainees understand the systemic ramifications of their actions and improve communication during potential high-stress threat events.

“Bringing players together in a safe, immersive environment where they can run through existing response tactics allows them to identify vulnerabilities and develop mitigation strategies prior to a real-life crisis,” said Greg Wigton, S&T program manager. “DECIDE offers organizations seeking to bolster their cyber strategies a low-risk. High-value tool, and we look forward to working with NUARI and our energy stakeholders to customize the technology to their unique needs.”

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