Parsons Hosts Cyber Defense Exercise Supporting NSA for Second Year in a Row

PASADENA, CA (April 14, 2015) – Parsons, a technology-driven engineering services firm with expertise in defense, intelligence, and cybersecurity, is pleased to announce that it is hosting a 5‑day (April 13–17) information assurance (IA) exercise this week at its cyber center in Columbia, MD, to help train students from the U.S. service academies and the Royal Military College of Canada in secure network operations. This hands‑on, realistic, team‑oriented event, formally known as the Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX), is being run by the National Security Agency (NSA) as part of its commitment to raising awareness among the military’s future leaders about IA challenges and the inherent vulnerabilities of a net‑centric world.

“As we continue to grow and evolve our cyber and intelligence expertise, we are pleased to again host NSA’s annual exercise to train the best and the brightest young minds to protect confidential data and other sensitive information,” said Mary Ann Hopkins, Parsons Group President. “Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and we are proud to play a role in this friendly competition and important learning opportunity.”

CDX is the nation’s premier cybersecurity challenge, bringing together more than 100 students from the U.S. service academies and the Royal Military College of Canada. During the exercise, network specialists tasked with securing the U.S. government’s most sensitive communication systems will challenge service academy teams in their ability to defend computer networks the students have designed, built, and configured at their respective schools. The entire CDX is conducted on a virtual private network, providing a safe path for the exercise while preventing interference with real‑world networks. A separate group of specialists will grade each team’s ability to effectively maintain network services while detecting, responding to, and recovering from network security intrusions or compromises. The winning team will be announced on Friday, April 17, at 12:30 p.m.

In addition to hosting CDX for the second year in a row, Parsons is also providing technical support for CDX preparation and execution. Parsons’ government services business unit currently serves a broad range of national security customers—including NSA and other key defense and intelligence agencies—in mission‑critical technical support, training, and program management. The corporation recently opened a second state‑of‑the‑art cyber space in Centreville, VA. This unique facility—known as the Cyber Solutions Center — enables Parsons to emulate customer architectures, security vulnerabilities, and risk posture and provide testing and demonstrations to enhance and protect the security of customer operating environments.

CDX is one example of NSA’s broad IA partnership program, which stimulates interest in IA and advocates for improvements to IA education, training, and awareness. For more information about CDX 2015, contact NSA’s Public and Media Affairs Office via phone at (301) 688-6524 or by email at [email protected].

Parsons (NYSE: PSN) is a leading disruptive technology provider in the global defense, intelligence, and critical infrastructure markets, with capabilities across cybersecurity, missile defense, space, connected infrastructure, and smart cities. Please visit Parsons.com, and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn how we’re making an impact.

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