NLE 12 Plans Getting Underway

DHS has begun planning for the National Level Exercise 2012 (NLE12) which involves a cyber security attack.  NLE12 is designed to test the draft National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP) (not yet released).  Information about the four specific exercises included in NLE12 is provided below:



Information Exchange Tabletop Exercise

  • This discussion-based tabletop exercise (TTX) is to evaluate the sharing of cyber-related classified and unclassified information among relevant public and private stakeholders. This exercise will primarily involve intelligence collection agencies and how they communicate information.

Cyber Effects/Cyber Storm Functional Exercise

  • Exercise #2 is a functional exercise that will examine coordination and communication processes between public and private stakeholders in response to an escalating cyber incident. Specifically, it aims to evaluate the NCIRP and examine the challenges related to managing a cyber-event with national security implications. The exercise will involve substantial modeling and simulation.

Capstone Functional Whole of Communities Exercise

  • The exercise will examine challenges related to managing a cyber-event with physical consequences and national security implications. The exercise will address cyber/physical interdependencies and impacts while simultaneously coordinating a Whole Community level cyber and physical response. A Joint Field Office (JFO) and/or a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) may be stood up during the exercise. The exercise will have private sector involvement including owners/operators and will examine the following two objectives:
  • Examine Whole Community cyber and physical response coordination, including resource allocation
  • Assess strategies & operational capabilities, identify interdependencies between government and private sectors that are required to protect Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources

Continuity Exercise

  • This is an operations-based, nationwide, communications exercise that will evaluate the continuity capability of Federal agencies when communication systems are degraded and when federal Continuity of Operations (COOP) devolve.

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