Cyber games strengthen ties and technical skills

A cyber-attack is invisible, can be undeterred by boundaries, and extremely dangerous. The possibilities for damage are endless. Attacks can range from small annoyances to catastrophic damage to loss of life and property.

Cyber security is the protection of computers, networks, programs and data from unintended or unauthorized access, change or destruction. It has been a concern for Colorado National Guard leadership, proactively defending against potential vulnerabilities, since the late 1990s for Y2K.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Rhodes is the commander of Cyber Protection Team 174 and the Defensive Cyber Operations Element of the Colorado Army National Guard. He is recruiting personnel to fill positions in both units.

One of 10 teams across the U.S., CPT 174 is a 39-person National Guard element, shared with Utah, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Colorado is home to the command headquarters and the inspection team. “Our stated mission is to be the first military responder for major cyber incidents in FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] Region 8,” Rhodes said. “Teams from each area can act as attackers, defenders, inspectors or hunters who seek out the threat.”

The DCOE team defends against local attacks on Department of Defense networks supporting CONG Soldiers and Airmen. The governor can also call upon the 10-person team to assist with defensive cyber operations during an incident affecting the state, when civilian assets are unavailable or exhausted.

Rhodes emphasized how partnerships are important to cyber programs.

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Source: U. S. Army