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New Zealand Bolsters Cybersecurity in US Defense Exercise

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has tested its cybersecurity capabilities and cyber threat preparedness in a US-led exercise.

The NZDF participated in Exercise Cyber Flag, a bi-annual program led by the US Department of Defense’s Cyber Command with the goal of establishing advanced cyber defense protocols.

Cyber Flag delegates participated in multiple controlled cyberattacks and computer network exploitations to simulate possible threats that might compromise New Zealand’s cyber defense.

Strength in Collaboration

NZDF Chief Information Security Officer Jared Licht expressed the importance of developing the country’s cyber capabilities by participating in Cyber Flag.

“This multinational tactical exercise is designed to enhance the capabilities needed to conduct defensive cyber operations,” he shared. “It provided an opportunity to improve interoperability by giving us a valuable opportunity to collaborate with partners, and then test their skills against opposing cyber forces.”

The country’s delegates included members of the air force, navy, and NZDF civilians from the Defence Cyber Service Centre. NZ special forces and army personnel rounded up the representatives participating in the drills.

Bigger Than the Threats

Established in 2011, Cyber Flag aims to prepare the US and its allies for evolving cyber threats, including malware creation and distribution, hacking, and DDoS attacks.

Participation in the program has increased recently; last year, South Korea joined the exercise in an effort to confront cyber threats posed by North Korea.

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