Norwich University’s Cyber Gaming Software Utilized in Quantum Dawn 3 Cybersecurity Exercise

Norwich University Office of Communications

September 17, 2015

Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) tested its cyber gaming software yesterday with over 500 participants from over 80 financial institutions and government organizations in one of the largest financial sector cybersecurity exercises, called Quantum Dawn 3. Quantum Dawn 3 was organized by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). [See SIFMA’s statement here.] SIFMA engaged NUARI to provide a real-world simulation of a large-scale cyber-attack.

Yesterday’s exercise allowed some of the country’s largest financial institutions and some of its smallest to test their ability to maintain operations while managing a coordinated cyber-attack designed to interrupt the U.S. financial system.

NUARI built the tool, called Distributed Environment for Decision-Making Exercises – Financial Sector (DECIDE – FS®), under a $9.9 million contract awarded in August 2013 by the Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a member of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, sponsored legislation that chartered NUARI in 2002 and announced the DECIDE – FS® contract at Norwich’s Northfield campus in 2013.

“Cyber-attacks on our personal and financial and security systems are increasingly pervasive and damaging. Norwich University has done important and outstanding work in training future leaders and in helping to defend our nation’s critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks,” said Leahy. “I am proud that this respected Vermont institution contributes to our readiness to deal with this pressing national security challenge.”

The only tool of its kind, DECIDE – FS® was initially designed to test U.S. financial sector cybersecurity and can be adapted for use in other critical infrastructure arenas, such as utilities and communications.

“Experience is the best teacher. These Quantum Dawn exercises provide realistic training with measurable results and encourage information sharing, cooperation and coordination to work through the disruption. Operational incidents, caused by cyber-attacks should be planned for and building resiliency within critical infrastructures is paramount, not optional,” said NUARI President Phil Susmann.

DECIDE-FS® replaces simple tabletop exercises with a business simulation customized to individual business models, information technology topology, and organizational dependencies. Built on top of a financial markets simulation, business leaders are stressed with cyber threats that affect the markets – price, volume, latency, and utilities as well as how each organization is structured in terms of business model, value chains, and dependencies.

The daylong exercise on Sept. 16 followed two prior successful cybersecurity exercises in 2013 and 2011. All three Quantum Dawn exercises were facilitated by NUARI. While the prior two exercises pushed participants and the markets to extremes to determine when markets would close, the focus of Quantum Dawn 3 was to maintain operations in the face of a significant data integrity failure within post-trade operations.

Through the simulation, individuals and organizations learn to operate under conditions that simulate reality—similar to how simulators are employed to assist in the training of pilots and mariners to be prepared for and handle emergencies.

NUARI has collaborated with the Department of Homeland Security for nearly a decade, preparing individuals and institutions to respond to catastrophic network failures, natural disasters, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks and other events that can impact market activity, communications, and essential services affecting critical infrastructures. DECIDE-FS® created at NUARI, is a massive, multi-participant simulation that effectively immerses industry decision makers, securities traders, IT and business continuity managers and others into complex, simulated scenarios focused on the effects of cyber incidents as well as other hazards.

For business inquiries, please contact NUARI at (802) 485-2213.

About NUARI

Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) was federally chartered under legislation sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy in 2002 and is funded in part through the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. NUARI has a national center to address cyber incident management challenges through research, training programs and technology development and has been a global leader for more than a decade in developing cyber war gaming, distributed learning technology, distributed simulation technology, critical infrastructure exercises, and cyber security curriculum.

DECIDE-FS® exercises serve to strengthen the resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructures in the face of cyber-attacks from nation-states and trans-national actors.

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu.

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.

Media Contact:

Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886; (m) 595-3613
dlarkin@norwich.edu
Follow us on Twitter @NorwichNews

Norwich University Applied Research Institutes Names New Board Member

Bank president and CEO Thomas S. Leavitt will join the 11-member board, bringing particular expertise to NUARI’s financial-sector cyberthreat security work
Norwich University Office of Communications

April 30, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) named Northfield Savings Bank President and CEO Thomas S. Leavitt, of Waterbury Center, to the NUARI board of directors.

Leavitt joins 10 directors on the board, bringing 22 years of banking experience, including oversight of all functions and a history of community and board involvement.

A Burlington, Vt., native, Leavitt holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business & Economics and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Leavitt will bring significant insight to NUARI’s focus on supporting the U.S. financial sector with unique cybersecurity tools.

“NUARI is at the vanguard of cybersecurity research and information assurance education. Leading an institution that is part of the nation’s financial system, I am acutely aware of the threats that must be vigilantly managed,” Leavitt said. “It is an honor to join a board comprised of leaders that have served at the highest levels of national defense, industry and academia.”

NUARI has collaborated with the Department of Homeland Security to help prepare individuals and institutions to respond to catastrophic network failures, natural disasters, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks and other events that can impact market activity, communications and essential services for critical infrastructure.

To that end, NUARI created DECIDE-FS®, a massive, multi-participant simulator that places decision makers, securities traders, IT and other stakeholders into complex, simulated scenarios focused on the effects of cyber incidents as well as other hazards.

In 2011, NUARI ran Quantum Dawn I, the largest critical infrastructure cyber threat exercises for the U.S. financial sector. A follow-up exercise in 2013, Quantum Dawn II, drew 50 organizations and 500 participants in the financial sector. The only cyber threat exercise of its kind, Quantum Dawn III is planned for later this year.

“NUARI is building upon its leadership in developing [its] cyber threat war-gaming platform, DECIDE-FS, and is looking forward to Tom’s significant service in banking and finance to help NUARI’s strategic focus in this area,” said Phil Susmann, NUARI president.

Directors serve two-year terms and can serve up to ten years.

“Norwich University and Northfield Savings Bank have a strong bond that dates to the founding of our bank in 1867” Leavitt said. “I look forward to working with Phil Susmann and the NUARI team to support the advancement of a vital 21st century mission.”

About NUARI

The Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) were federally chartered under legislation sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) in 2002 and are funded in part through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. NUARI is dedicated to pursuing the ideals of Norwich University founder Captain Alden Partridge to participate in the building of the nation and to prepare its graduates to protect the American way of life. NUARI builds on the university’s status as a National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

NUARI, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, serves the national public interest through the study of critical national issues and the development of related educational and training programs by conducting rapid research, developing and deploying necessary technologies, and by addressing related policy, information management and technology issues to enhance a national capability for preparedness and response. NUARI accomplishes its mission by developing strategic alliances, partnerships, collaborations, and outreach programs with diverse public and private sector stakeholders, communities of governmental and non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutions, and business and industry associations and entities.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485.2886; (m) 595.3613
dlarkin@norwich.edu

Alum Funds Start-up Student Investment Club

Less than a year ago, the Finance Club was not even an idea. Today, the club has 13 members who manage $25,000 in investments, club president Alex Johnson reports.
By Alex J. Johnson ’16 | Accounting & Business Management
School of Business & Management

 
October 22, 2014

It’s remarkable to think that just a year ago, the Finance Club, of which I am president, was nothing—not even an idea. Today, the club stands strong with a roster of 13 loyal members and a fund of $25,000 to invest with. In less than one year, myself and Ben Fertich (Business Management—Finance ’16) shared a vision and ran with it. We haven’t looked back since and are only growing and improving.

The club came about after a field trip to New York City with Professor Alex Chung (School of Business, Finance Club Advisor). It was a long ride back and myself, Ben and Prof. Chung were talking about the markets and general finance news. Prof. Chung lamented the lack of a Finance Club on campus. Ben and I liked the idea and nodded at each other, thinking it was a cool notion but nothing more. A week before Christmas break, Ben and I began talking about a Norwich finance club really being a possibility. Even if it eventually failed, we thought, at least we could learn a few things in the process. We sat down one day for chow and just brainstormed what the club could be. We gathered the necessary documents and used Christmas break as an opportunity to get the forms and materials in order to get a running start second semester. We came back from break, and within three weeks we set up our first meeting.

Along the way, we met two future club officers. We certainly could not have accomplished everything that we did without them. Austin Surowiec and Erik Lyrvall helped us create the backbone of the club. Between myself, Ben, Austin and Erik, we began to envision where the club could go. We thought that we would wait awhile before asking the school for any money as we wanted to prove ourselves through market simulators and club participation. After our first few meetings, club attendance was already around 10 members and growing each time. With the guidance of Prof. Chung, the officers of the club decided to write the CFO of Norwich University, Lauren Wobby, and ask for a small amount of money to invest. I believe the initial amount was a low as $10,000, and it was Ms. Wobby who suggested we solicit more, adding that she would task the development office to solicit Norwich alumni who might want to bankroll the club. It was fantastic news, and we could not believe how well our ambitions were received, and that our first installment would be as much as $25,000. In the meantime, we continued to use simulators to track our “investments” and work our portfolio allocation and strategy.

Interactive Learning

The officers constructed each meeting to cover a different subject that the group wanted to review. Each week the topics would vary, from the weekly market and news to financial ratios and different types of funds. It was a very interactive learning process. While hosting these club meetings, the officers worked hard setting the framework for the club and establishing its future. As spring waned and summer approached, our group meetings began to wind down, and the club focused more on obtaining a fund to invest with. We heard no official word until mid-summer, when we learned the club was to receive a gift of $25,000 from a gracious alumnus in the Class of 1964.

As of this moment, the club is finalizing the paperwork and smaller details about the fund. But we are writing our investing policy statement for the fund and setting up the allocation percentages for the $25,000. I can’t put into words the experience this has been. The work has been nothing but worth it. Every week the officers and I are trying to learn as much as we can to help the club as much as we can and learn so that we can invest as wisely as possible. However, to have the chance to manage a fund of $25,000 is incredible and such a worthwhile experience. The amount I have learned from the club is second to none.

As a final note, personally I cannot thank Prof. Chung, Ms. Wobby and our generous alumnus enough for all their help. None of this would be possible without their support and hard work!