More than 2,000 people and 200 organizations participated in CISA's Cyber Storm exercise. Pictured: A team participates in the National Security Agency’s 20th annual National Cyber Exercise in 2021. (Petty Officer 2nd Class Hunter Medley/Coast Guard)

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) wrapped up a three-day cyber exercise with more than 2,000 participants from about 200 private and public organizations.

Cyber Storm is a biennial cybersecurity exercise that CISA bills as the most extensive of its kind in a March 14 news release. This year’s event examined incident response, including the physical impacts, of a coordinated cyberattack targeting critical infrastructure. Cyber Storm VIII focused on ransomware and data exfiltration involving traditional enterprise and operational systems, including industrial control systems such as chemical, critical manufacturing, energy, financial and healthcare.

CISA will work with participating organizations to identify, share, and examine lessons learned to improve cyber incident response planning, information sharing, and response activities.

“Over the last several months, we have been encouraging organizations to have their ‘Shields Up’ to ensure they’re prepared to respond to potential disruptive cyber activity. An important part of building cyber preparedness and resilience is exercising incident response capabilities, something CISA and our cybersecurity partners do regularly through exercises like Cyber Storm,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “CISA will continue to work with government and industry to safeguard our critical infrastructure, but everyone has a role to play. I encourage all organizations — regardless of size — to adopt a heightened posture when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting their most critical assets.”