The Government Accountability Office has called on the Defense Department to maintain a database to keep track of National Guard’s emergency response capabilities in support of civil agencies during a cyber attack.
GAO said in a report published Tuesday DoD should also carry out a “tier 1” exercise that would involve combatant commanders and organizations at the national level in order to help prepare its personnel for disasters with cyber and physical effects.
The tier 1 exercise would also help the Pentagon assess response capabilities, test response plans and address challenges in previous exercises that seek to support civil authorities during a cyber incident, the congressional audit agency said.
GAO made the recommendations after it found that DoD has encountered difficulties in prior cyber exercises, such as inadequate integration of joint physical-cyber scenarios and limited participant access.
The report also cited cyber units, computer network defense groups and communications directorates as the three cyber capability types that are present in National Guard units.
Some of the DoD-backed cyber exercises that seek to support civil agencies in the event of a cyber attack include the U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber Guard 15, Army National Guard’s Cyber Shield 2015 and the Vista Host II exercise of the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, the report added.