AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- The Georgia Cyber and Innovation Center is hosting the 5th annual Cyber Dawg Exercise which brings several state and local agencies for cyber security training.

This is a military-styled training, using “live-fire” scenarios and activities to help hundreds of security professionals to sharpen their cyber defense skills. 

12 state agencies and military entities met at the center, getting valuable training that translates to what they do on the job. 

“Similar to the networks they use on a day-to-day basis, we have the exact same setup. So they’re gonna be hands-on with the keyboard, logged into different systems, managing different applications that they would use in the real world,” said Cyber Range Architect Jonathan Race.

They were all divided up into teams: Ranger, Rebel, and Outlaw to name a few.

Even though today was just an exercise, this event is also in place to prepare the pros for the real deal. 

“It provides them the ability to see things that hopefully they’ll never see, but unfortunately probably will at some point see in their career. So being able to identify a threat or a threat that’s in their environment–because I’ve seen it before in training–better prepares them for the ability to deal with it in the real world,” said Deputy State CISO Mike Davis.

We’re just a few months removed from the cyber attack on the city’s computer systems, and Race says it’s exercises like this that give the professionals the tools to be prepared. 

“There are things close to home that have occurred within cyber attacks, and different things that have occurred,” said Race. “So stuff like this really lets the local entities grow and learn. But this really lets the state of Georgia come together, learn and plan out how to get better, and how to approach these different attacks that have occurred in the past to get better and use those as cases.”

So even with the agencies broken into different groups, they’re all playing for the same team at the end of the day.

The Georgia Cyber and Innovation Training Center plans to have the Cyber Dawg exercise again around this time next year.