Cyber Security ‘Game’ a Serious Exercise


Earlier this summer, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) organized Cyber Europe 2018, a two-day exercise involving more than 900 security specialists from about 300 organizations across 30 countries. Hungary’s Invitech was among those taking part.

Zsolt Kemendi

The exercise saw participants contending with a simulated series of incidents that impacted on organizational, local, national and European levels. Over the course of the two-days, more than 23,000 incidents and/or attacks (so-called “injects”) were launched by a radical group across Europe, which mainly impacted air traffic. The principal task was to localize and manage these attacks. 

“The company took its participation very seriously as security is an essential element of Invitech’s services; the stakeholders and suppliers of the air transport sector also constitute a major part of Invitech’s customer base,” said the firm’s chief technical officer Zsolt Kemendi. “A lot can be learned from such an exercise; in a real emergency all the experience gained could be utilized to the benefit of clients.”

ENISA controlled the exercise from its Cyber Exercise Platform in Athens while the participants “played” from their own workplaces. Invitech set up its “general headquarters” in a building which also hosts its DC-10 data center and Security Operation Center, as a major part of its technical infrastructure and expert staff is concentrated here. 

Technical Incidents

“Invitech managed a number of technical incidents and press inquiries during the exercise at both a national and international level,” Kemendi explained. “The Invitech team, consisting of around a dozen experts, succeeded in coping with many technical challenges, managing them according to the processes of the company and reporting to ENISA. Press inquiries simulated during the two-day exercise also had to be dealt with. Coordinating the issues with other relevant participants, the company was able to react to these inquiries in time.”

This year’s exercise was the fifth event organized thus far by ENISA. To date, Invitech has participated successfully in two international exercises and one national event. Also participating from Hungary this year were Magyar Telekom and Telenor, in addition to a number of players from public administration.

CTO Kemendi added: “Invitech worked from beginning to end with excellent cooperation and at a high standard, supported to a great extent by Zsolt Virág, the leader of the team, who performed the very complex task of ensuring smooth coordination both within the company and with other participants and organizers of the game.”

Based on conclusions drawn from the previous exercise, Invitech created and operated an online forum that enabled the participants to coordinate their positions concerning the preliminary assessment and evaluation of incoming attacks and incidents, to request the opinion of others and to coordinate their planned measures within the frame of the rules.

The two-day international exercise was evaluated by domestic stakeholders under the coordination of the National Cyber Security Center. The organizers and domestic players all gave positive feedback on the online forum initiated by Invitech. They reported that this forum contributed significantly to the successful performance of Hungarian participants. 

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