CICRA Consultancies Ltd., Sri Lanka’s pioneering information security training and consultancy provider, participated in the 2016 United States Pacific Command’s Pacific Endeavour conference for the fourth consecutive year from 22 August to 2 September in Brisbane, Australia.

Nearly 250 military communication experts, non-government organisations and academic advisers from over 20 allied and partner nations were involved in this event.

The 2016 exercise was co-hosted by representatives from the Multinational Communications Interoperability Program (MCIP), a US Pacific Command-sponsored humanitarian assistance and disaster relief information-sharing operation, and the Australian Defence Force.

06-1US Pacific Command 2016 Cyber Endeavour participants at the US Pacific Command event in Brisbane, Australia

The objective of the exercise was to provide participants a first-hand learning experience of the importance of speed and interoperability of communication assets when responding to a multinational crisis.

The exercise was specifically designed to improve interoperability of communication technologies among nations in the Indo-Asia Pacific region; and mainly focused on radio, cyber and satellite technologies. Far from a series of lectures, this workshop emphasised more on real-world-type communications and real-world-type events.

The exercise was made up of multiple training modules. Along with CICRA Consultancies, several multinational businesses and internationally renowned technology consulting firms including DELL, Microsoft, Palo Alto, Cyber Test Systems, Deloitte and FireEye delivered training sessions and engaged in discussions at the event.

06-2CICRA Consultant/Trainer Rajith Udayanga delivering the training program for military officer with over 25 nations participating in the US Pacific Command event in Brisbane, Australia

CICRA Consultant Rajitha Udayanga (B. Tech Eng., MSC (IT), CISSP, CEH) took the stage as he successfully conducted a hands-on training module focusing on Incident Response. In previous years, CICRA conducted training on Ethical Hacking, Information Forensics and Disaster Management and Recovery.

“It was a great pleasure for CICRA to represent Sri Lanka for the fourth consecutive year at the Pacific Command’s Cyber Endeavour. This exercise was aimed to ensure military experts are ahead of technological advances. Last year alone, several high-profile cyber threats and security breaches such as Heartbleed, Shellshock, breach at Target and JP Morgan Chase hogged several headlines throughout the year. These breaches had dire consequences and for all we know, it keeps escalating while more criminals continue to enter the cyber world,” said CICRA Holding CEO Boshan Dayaratne.

“Look, the perpetrator could be across the world, thus national boundaries no longer apply. This poses a looming threat to national security. This means we need to be prepared. Of course, there is no silver bullet for cyber-security. However, we should take measures to prevent and mitigate risks and continue to stay resilient,” he added.

Natural disasters can have several implications besides destruction of infrastructure. In fact, it can cause damage to your computer – or even your identity.

06-3Director/CEO Boshan Dayaratne with some of the participants at the US Pacific Command event in Brisbane, Australia

One of the incidents that aptly demonstrated the necessity of a disaster recovery and business continuity plan was Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 that killed at least 15,000 people and left 11,000 missing. The catastrophe damaged major critical infrastructure in the worst hit areas, with disruptions to travel, electricity, communications and mobile networks throughout Japan.

The interesting part though, was that cybercriminals knew people were looking up for information about the disaster and capitalised on it. As a result, many social engineering attacks were launched tricking people to give up credit card details in the belief they were donating to relief efforts.

During a natural disaster guards are usually down. Communication people would be the first to go down as they’d be engrossed with the disaster itself and pay little attention to cyber threats during the crisis, in turn giving leverage to the criminals.

It was with great pride that CICRA accepted this invitation to edify an audience of professionals from over 26 countries, on managing disaster and maintaining a resilient IT infrastructure.

CICRA has been invited to Pacific Endeavour since 2012 in Singapore. CICRA participated in the event in Thailand in 2013 and Philippines in 2015.

The Pacific Endeavour 2016 was held at a historical location known as Enoggera Barracks or Gallipoli Barracks. This is an Australian Army base in the Northwestern Brisbane suburb of Enoggera in Queensland. The base has a long history dating back to1908 and is now been developed into a modern military base.

CICRA is known throughout the region for its superior service, reliability and experience in the realm of Information Security. Taking part in the Pacific Command’s Cyber Endeavour has given CICRA tremendous opportunities to expand further with international alliances.

06-4A section of the participants following CICRA’s Incidence Response training at the US Pacific Command event in Brisbane, Australia