This past February a Russian hacker simply known as Rasputin hacked 63 different organizations around the world. Among his hit list were 16 state and four city governments across the United States.
Analysts believe Rasputin picked his targets based on the “organization’s perceived investment and security controls and the respective compromised data value.” Or to put it in simpler terms: He wanted the most valuable data that was the easiest to steal.
His attack encapsulates the challenge facing state and local technology leaders. These governments store massive amounts of sensitive constituent data such as Social Security numbers, health care records and driver’s license numbers. The resources to protect that data, though, traditionally lag behind other sectors as state governments must build a workforce, integrate new technologies and fend off increasingly sophisticated attacks, all while facing extremely limited budgets.
It’s a battle Symantec wants to help fight.
This spring Symantec is inviting cyber security teams from state and local governments to take part in the State & Local Government Cyber Challenge. This two-day competition will be the first ever nation-wide competition among state and local cyber security teams.
While state and local cyber teams will be competing, the real goal of the competition is to help teams better understand the vulnerabilities associated with today’s global threat landscape, gain critical security intelligence and collaborate with other governments facing similar challenges.
Participating teams will:
Walk in an adversary’s footsteps to understand motivations
Understand the five stages of a cyber attack: reconnaissance, incursion, discovery, capture and exfiltration
Develop and practice offensive skills to aid in defense
Apply knowledge and experience to real-world problems
Expand their security awareness and build cyber skills while earning Continuing Education Credits
The event will be held March 8-9, and will allow teams to see how they handle pressure, learn where they can improve and be better prepared for the next attack. Symantec will provide teams with detailed preparation instructions after a team registers. Teams can consist of one to four participants and each must have a .gov or .org email address.
Register now and use the event key: statelocalcyber.