Leahy: Norwich University Applied Research Institute Tapped To Receive $9.9 M. In Cybersecurity Contracts

NORTHFIELD, Vt. (THURSDAY, Aug. 22, 2013) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday spoke at Norwich University to announce that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has tapped the Norwich University Applied Research Institute (NUARI) to receive $9.9 million in competitive contracts for cybersecurity projects.  

The $9.9 million in contracts will be awarded for the Distributed Environment for Critical Infrastructure Decision-making Exercises (DECIDE) program, which helps both private sector businesses and public sector regulators plan for cyber attacks through coordinated exercises.  The new award will fund an updated version of the program designed to improve the exercise’s user interface and to expand the segments of the financial industry that can be involved in such exercises in the future.  This announcement follows major news coverage of the nation’s largest financial sector cyber exercise to date, Quantum Dawn 2, run with the DECIDE program architecture and by NUARI employees and subcontractors.

As the most senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy has spent a decade supporting funding for the DECIDE program as a vital component in the battle against cybercrime and protection of key domestic infrastructure.  Originating under congressional direction, the program has proven its value, and DHS has recognized its value and has remained committed to funding DECIDE out of its cyber security program budget.  Leahy also authored NUARI’s federal charter as a national center to address cyber incident management challenges through research, training programs and technology development.  Under its federal charter, NUARI has emerged as a global leader in developing cyber war gaming, distributed learning technology, distributed simulation technology, critical infrastructure exercises, and cyber security curricula.

“It always impresses me — but never surprises me — when I hear about Norwich University’s success readying our military and security leaders for today’s challenges while continuing its historic mission of developing the military leaders of tomorrow,” said Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate’s work in writing the annual defense budget bill.  Leahy also is a senior member of the Appropriations panel that writes DHS’s annual budget bills.  “This $9.9 million in additional contracts will keep Norwich growing in the crucial and cutting-edge arena of cyber security, and growing as an essential part of the community in Northfield,” he said.

“Experience is the best teacher.  Improving a collective response in the face of an evolving advanced persistence threat is a continuous process.  An immersive, stressful and adaptable simulation environment, employed with a thinking adversary, is critical to preparing individuals and organizations for the fog of war, when quick, but clear thinking and cooperation are essential,” said NUARI President Phil Susmann. “Realistic training, with measurable consequences to an organization’s value chain, encourages individual and institutional information sharing, cooperation and coordination.  Attacks are inevitable.  Building resiliency within critical infrastructures is paramount, not optional.”

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