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NEWS | Aug. 21, 2023

U.S. Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade leading tactical sessions at Cyber Summit 2023 for stronger security, partnerships

By Capt. Jevon Thomas U.S. Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade

The U.S. Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade played a prominent role in leading tactical sessions and exercises at Cyber Summit 2023 in Wiesbaden, Germany, from July July 24–27, 2023.

Cyber Summit is an annual gathering of military and civilian cybersecurity professionals, including both U.S. and nation partners in the European theater. The theme of this Cyber Summit was “Adapting to the Evolving Cyber Landscape.” Furthermore, several key leaders emphasized the message of “We are stronger together.” This year the conference was hosted at the historic Dorint Hotel in Wiesbaden Germany, with over 300 cyber professionals from around the globe. A total of 18 partner nations engaged in the event, representing diverse sectors encompassing military, government civilians, and industry collaborators.

ARCPB played a central role in the conference's proceedings. Soldiers from the brigade led almost half of the breakout sessions, addressing specific tactical topics relevant to the cyber field. These sessions covered a range of subjects including International Security Cooperation, AI hunting, intel-based threat hunting, insights into the daily activities of a Security Operations Center analyst, the impacts of Zero Trust, the application of the MITRE Attack Framework and Navigator Lab, Intel-based threat hunting, and effective Incident Response strategies.

Moreover, the ARCPB took the initiative to develop and orchestrate a Capture the Flag exercise, which drew participation from over 67 individuals from 18 countries. This interactive challenge, guided by the expertise of Maj. Fong and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Steahly, unfolded in a collaborative team environment outside of the regular sessions. Significantly, this was the inaugural execution of such an exercise at the conference. The resounding success of the CTF exercise this year serves as a promising model for future conferences. It signifies the ARCPB's commitment to enhancing this training avenue to benefit not only its own active component but also its allied partners.

Participants expressed unanimous appreciation, deeming the ARCPB's contributions highly valuable, informative, and vital. Plans for next year's conference are already in motion. Recognizing the current threat landscape stemming from the Ukraine crisis, the ARCPB's input was particularly significant in shaping strategies for the European theater's security environment.

Furthermore, the conference's venue heightened its significance and urgency, owing to a historical backdrop. In 1963, during President Kennedy's momentous visit to Germany, his renowned "I Am a Berliner" speech left an unforgettable mark, solidifying the United States as a champion of liberty across the European landscape. This historical connection resonates with contemporary events, as Ukraine grapples with Russia's aggression. Notably, President Kennedy had lodged at the Dorint Hotel before his pivotal flight to the Berlin Wall during the Cold War era. This bridge between history and the present, underscoring the United States' enduring role as a beacon of hope, was not lost on attendees of the cyber summit or the contributions of the ARCPB. The conference's inaugural words, "We are stronger together," reverberated, fostering a profound sense of shared purpose and conviction.