Vigilant Guard tests system to protect La. against cyber attack

Vigilant Guard tests system to protect La. against cyber attack

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When a natural disaster strikes, the first priority is keeping people safe. However, digital security is also a top level priority.

Multiple agencies participated in Vigilant Guard 2016, an all-hazards response training exercise that was conducted Wednesday morning. The effort is lead by the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The exercise allowed the various agencies the ability to test responses during a Category 3 or 4 hurricane if a cyber attack was to occur.

The Louisiana National Guard's Cyber Crimes team also held a demonstration at the LSU Innovation Park Wednesday.

The team includes a collection of soldiers who block hackers from invading government technology and personal computers.

The National Guard said they face cyber attacks every day from inside and outside the country. They want to prevent these criminals from taking personal data.

"If you think about somebody coming into your system without you knowing it, there's ways that we can identify that," said Lt. Col. Henry Capello, cyber planner with the Louisiana National Guard. "And sometimes, people aren't aware of those ways, and once it comes in it's too late and they're actually infected."

Officials said that hackers like to strike during major disasters like hurricanes.

Cyber team members from Haiti and the Caribbean were there to learn and observe.

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