CybExer Technologies put together the Army Cyber Spartan 23 cybersecurity exercise on 20-24th November 2023 at the Defence BattleLab (DBL) located in Dorset Innovation Park in the United Kingdom.
This exercise was the latest iteration of a large-scale Live Fire training activity, which was designed to help participants improve their defensive cyber skills through a range of progressive challenges.
The goal of this exercise was to educate Army personnel and assist them in developing their cyber capabilities in a challenging and realistic cyber environment in order to enhance their skills and improve cyber resilience.
In this article, we will tell you all about the process, objectives, and outcomes of this cybersecurity exercise, which brought together a staggering 320 participants and 15 industry partners from 6 nations, forming 32 Blue Teams for the exercise.
The Process Behind the Army Cyber Spartan Event – Which Cybersecurity Exercises Were Conducted Within These 5 Days?
Army Cyber Spartan cybersecurity exercise was a five-day-long hands-on activity that was structured in a hybrid format, incorporating a gradual progression from training to different operational scenarios.
The exercise started with an introductory training session where teams had a chance to familiarize themselves with the process and gain exposure to the simulated environment, as well as the exercise’s rules of engagement (RoE).
After that, the Threat Hunting exercise began. This is where teams had an opportunity to practice their threat detection skills without engaging in active response measures.
This was followed by the Live-Fire exercise phase, where teams had to detect and respond to real-world attacks launched by the Red Team (from CybExer).
To conclude everything, teams engaged in reconnaissance activities in the final phase, attempting to gather intelligence about the offensive adversary and its strategies.
With this kind of structured approach, teams could gradually build their skills and confidence. Threat Hunting and Live Fire exercises helped them test their abilities to respond to real-world cyber threats and prepare for challenges they may encounter in their everyday lives.
What Were the Main Objectives of the Army Cyber Spartan Exercise?
The main goal of the Army Cyber Spartan 2023 exercise is to attract, assess, advise, and educate Army personnel, developing collective training and cyber capability in a challenging and realistic cyber environment to exploit Defensive Cyber Operation (DCO) knowledge, skills, and experience (KSE) aligned to Defense outputs.
Overall, this event aimed to:
- Enhance Defensive Cyber Operation capability to enhance the development of the Corps, Army, and Defence outputs.
- Deliver ambitious, challenging, and realistic cybersecurity scenarios.
- Enhance and Develop working relationships within Defence and other Governmental organizations and international partners.
- Develop cooperation with other nations and share the best practices with them.
Generally, Live-Fire exercises provide participants with a standardized gamenet environment that allows fair scoring, which gives them an idea of the success ratio on their given tasks. This helps them to achieve the following learning objectives:
- Improve live reactions, defense planning, and environment in case of an attack.
- Conduct a proper monitoring and analysis of attacks.
- Practice discovery and understanding of various attack patterns and vectors against the targets.
- Creating and providing reports to responsible parties for an effective decision-making process.
Why Was Army Cyber Spartan 2023 Exercise Important?
Conducting the Army Cyber Spartan 2023 exercise was pivotal due to its productive outcomes.
The overall game dynamics within the role-based cybersecurity exercise created an engaging and immersive experience for participants. These dynamics were designed to simulate real-world cybersecurity scenarios and challenge players to use their skills and knowledge to react against an attack campaign.
The Live Fire exercise format proved to be a novel experience for the participating teams. It required them to resolve incidents through Incident Reports. Participants successfully showcased their adaptability in following instructions and adjusting to established procedures.
Captain D Preuss from the British Army spoke about the importance of these types of exercises for this personnel. Here’s what he had to say:
“From the outset, the team at CybExer demonstrated a high level of professionalism and expertise. They exhibited a thorough understanding of our organization’s unique needs and tailored their training solutions accordingly.
The communication throughout the partnership was impeccable, and the project management team ensured that every aspect of the cyber range training was seamlessly executed.
The training itself exceeded our expectations in terms of content, relevance, and hands-on experience. The trainers were not only knowledgeable but also adept at conveying complex concepts in a manner that was easily understandable.
The post-training support and resources provided by CybExer have been invaluable. Their commitment to ensuring that our team continues to build on the skills acquired during the training is a testament to their dedication to client success.
The symbiotic relationship between CybExer and my organisation has provided a proven platform for success, year after year.
In summary, working with CybExer for our cyber range training needs has been a game-changer for our organization. The expertise, professionalism, and personalized approach exhibited by their team have not only enhanced our cybersecurity capabilities but also left a lasting positive impression.”
Organizing the Army Cyber Spartan 2023 cybersecurity exercise was a massive success. The planned activities and training sessions aimed to strengthen the expertise and resilience of the British Army’s cybersecurity professionals.
During the exercise, participants managed to experience a realistic training environment and face challenges that would help them clearly understand how to defend IT systems under intense cyber-attacks.
Our team at CybExer Technologies is happy to organize such projects and share our expertise with other organizations globally.