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Local Native Participates in Cyber Security NATO Operation

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Terrence DeJesus, a native of Jamestown, Ohio, recently had the opportunity to participate in the annual Locked Shields Cyber Exercise held by the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), a NATO cyber defense hub. This exercise, established in 2010, is known as the largest annual cyber security exercise globally, bringing together red and blue teams to simulate cyber attacks and defense strategies.

In this exercise, the red team comprises ethical hackers, while the blue team focuses on defending against these attacks. DeJesus, as a member of the blue team, traveled to Tallinn, Estonia to engage hands-on in the simulation with representatives from various countries, including the United States. His role in the blue team was to identify and counter threats posed by the red team within the simulated environment.

With approximately 18 teams in the blue team and participation from 40 global nations, DeJesus found himself representing not only the United States but also Estonia and France due to his position as a Senior Cyber Security Research Engineer/Area Lead at Elastic, a search analytics company. His work at Elastic involves both red team activities, to understand hacker methodologies, and blue team tasks, to enhance security solutions to detect and prevent cyber attacks.

DeJesus’s involvement in the NATO CCDCOE exercise stemmed from a colleague’s recommendation, who was seeking experienced professionals to join the event. He expressed pride in representing the United States and showcasing Elastic’s contributions to global cybersecurity efforts. The exercise provided an opportunity for networking, testing detection systems, and refining security solutions to protect against evolving cyber threats.

Moreover, DeJesus highlighted the importance of demonstrating that individuals from any background can contribute to enhancing cybersecurity measures on a global scale. He emphasized the career prospects in cyber security, noting that hands-on experience and dedication are vital for success in the field. DeJesus also expressed willingness to mentor aspiring cyber security professionals, emphasizing the rewarding nature of the profession.

In conclusion, DeJesus’s participation in the Locked Shields Cyber Exercise not only showcased his expertise in cyber security but also highlighted the significance of cross-border collaboration in tackling cyber threats. His journey from Jamestown to Estonia exemplifies the opportunities available in the field of cyber security, encouraging others to pursue a career in this dynamic and impactful industry.

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