SEATTLE, Wash - - Governor Gary Locke announced the successful completion of the TOPOFF2 cyber exercise. The cyber exercise tested the response of the government's computer networks in the event it should experience a series of widespread, escalating cyber events.
The TOPOFF2 cyber exercise was part of the national TOPOFF2 exercise that began May 12 in Seattle and Chicago. The exercises featured sophisticated computer simulations, creating situations where state and local government information technology organizations had to respond in concert to a series of cyber security scenarios.
"This cyber exercise will help us be better prepared to respond to the possibility of disruptions or outages in our computer networks," Locke said. "I am proud of how our agencies performed and our ability to work across jurisdiction at the local, state and federal level."
Participants in the TOPOFF2 cyber exercise examined the actions required to limit potential damage caused by network compromise, and to minimize the impact on operations. The exercise required participants to make decisions in real-time in response to different, escalating events that slowed or stopped network operations. These events triggered management decision-making exercises about the associated business and communication functions required to recover the systems and resume providing essential public services.
"Working together in collaboration with the city of Seattle and King County, this exercise truly helped us organize a regional, coordinated response to a potential cyber event," said Stuart McKee, director of the state Department of Information Services. "The training was an excellent opportunity to test assumptions and effectively respond to a highly complex cyber incident."
Agencies involved in the cyber exercise included the state's Department of Information Services, Department of Transportation and Emergency Management Division, along with numerous agencies from the city of Seattle and King County, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of State, the local Joint Task Force of the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney's Office, as well as the private sector and Canada.
The TOPOFF2 cyber exercise is the first time an interactive, computerized network simulation has been used in public government, and was designed to create an "immersion experience" for participants. The Institute for Security Technology Studies (ISTS) at Dartmouth College created the network simulation.