The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in coordination with North Dakota University System (NDUS) and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), convened a pilot Leadership Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education (LTTX) on Feb. 7, 2018, in Bismarck, North Dakota.
The event brought together the presidents and senior level staff of 11 colleges and universities from across the state of North Dakota. More than 75 individuals representing the emergency management, cybersecurity, tribal colleges and operational leadership of each institution in the System attended. NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott delivered keynote remarks. Participants also included representatives from federal, state, and local departments and agencies that support campus resilience. The event focused on cybersecurity threats to higher education.
“We at the Department recognize the importance of fostering resilience best practices and bolstering campus emergency preparedness efforts,” said Office of Academic Engagement Program Manager Lindsay Burton. “The LTTX offers an opportunity for the leaders of institutions of higher education to experience those efforts in action.”
Building upon the success of the National Seminar and Tabletop Exercise (NTTX), the leadership events will be hosted multiple times per year, focusing on risks specific to the participating institutions. The half-day event explores and tests campus resilience and emergency preparedness efforts through an unclassified threat briefing, a series of case studies with immersive discussion questions on leadership’s role during an incident, and an in-depth discussion of options for leadership to consider in building campus resilience.
“This pilot exercise under the guidance of DHS has helped NDUS institutions understand more thoroughly the impacts of cybersecurity on our institutions,” said Hagerott. “I am grateful for the opportunity to gain insight from experts and create a familiar network of resources for our campuses.”
The LTTX is part of the DHS Office of Academic Engagement’s Campus Resilience Program Tabletop Exercise Series (TTX), which is a collection of tailored events, each with unique objectives and outcomes, designed for the higher education community. Each event in the series challenges participants with multi-faceted threat based scenarios that test and strengthen their institution’s preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities.
To learn more about the LTTX, visit: https://www.dhs.gov/lttx.