LTC Partners Hosts NH Army National Guard's Chief Information Officer to Discuss Preparedness During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Portsmouth, NH: As part of its Cybersecurity Awareness Program, LTC Partners hosted Lt. Col. Woody Groton, Cyber-Chief Information Officer of the NH Army National Guard, to talk to employees about the importance of cybersecurity preparedness. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Groton's visit came on the heels of the NH Army National Guard's annual Cyber Yankee exercise, held in August. A cooperative exercise involving military, state, and federal agencies, as well as utilities and private sector businesses, Cyber Yankee is designed to strengthen national security and critical infrastructure via simulated cyber-attacks and response analysis. Groton is also the commander of the 195th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, and chairs the NH Information Technology Council.

Groton explained that Cyber Yankee mimics a cybersecurity attack from a foreign adversary during a simulated natural disaster affecting the New England area by creating a realistic cyber exercise for Army National Guard Defensive Cyberspace Operations Elements (DCOE) and other Army and Air National Guard cyber defenders. The purpose was to train the National Guard to identify, contain, and respond to cyber-threats and refine protocols for communicating and sharing intelligence with industry, state, and federal partners during response.

"If you don't train and practice, you won't be ready," Groton told LTC Partners employees. He further explained the value of working with local and state governments as well as the private sector in these scenarios, saying, "It's all about building relationships at the end of the day."

Two LTC Partners employees played a key role in Cyber Yankee. Seth Williams, a security architect at LTC Partners and captain in the NH Army National Guard, has participated in past Cyber Yankee exercises. This year, he was chosen to be the point of contact for the red team, which represented a foreign adversary that targeted State of NH departments using various cyber-attack methods. LTC Partners' System Security Engineer Sean Buckley also participated on the red team.

Ken Kasprzak, LTC Partners' director of information risk management and information security officer, said participating in Cyber Yankee gave LTC Partners employees a valuable first-hand view of how a cyber-attack against a company can occur and how the attacker, once in the system, can manipulate access credentials to capture and remove data or cause disruption to normal business activity.

"Having an understanding of how a cyber-attack progresses will help LTC Partners identify and install security controls to make our systems safer," he noted.

About LTC Partners

LTC Partners® (Long Term Care Partners, LLC®, or LTCP®), a diversified third-party administrator of large-scale insurance and benefits programs, was founded in 2002. LTC Partners administers both the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program and BENEFEDS under the oversight of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The company is located at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, NH. LTC Partners is a wholly owned subsidiary of John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company.