Mayor's Office Press Release

Houston Prepares for Critical Infrastructure Threats Involving Cyberattacks

July 25, 2018 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner today announced the City of Houston and partners from multiple public and private sectors at the local, state, and federal level will participate in the Jack Voltaic 2.0 Cyber Research Project.

The City of Houston will facilitate a three-day exercise in collaboration with key partners:

  • Army Cyber Institute at West Point – Cyber Research Coordinator
  • AECOM – Infrastructure Resilience Advisor
  • Circadence – Cyber Virtual Environment

The exercise will assemble representatives from the following critical infrastructure sectors: education, emergency management, energy, healthcare, military, public utilities, telecommunications, and transportation. The exercise will simulate two simultaneous incidents – a natural disaster and a cyberattack – and examine the challenges those incidents place on critical infrastructure, while assessing response capability, agency collaboration, communications interoperability, and military integration. Jack Voltaic 2.0 (JV2.0) is the first combined cyber/ incident response exercise in the state of Texas.

The JV2.0 Research Project and exercise is intended to improve preparation for and response to cyberattacks. JV2.0 is building partnerships in an innovative, bottom-up approach to infrastructure resilience that enhances Army research, as well as local readiness. Primarily, JV2.0 will study the interconnection of critical infrastructure, assessing gaps in cybersecurity capabilities and the impact of physical infrastructure degradation on an interconnected, networked environment (and vice versa). The Research Project will develop best practices and a framework template that set a foundation for local governments, as well as a statewide incident response program.

Mayor Sylvester Turner believes the city of Houston will benefit from this exercise to provide essential public safety information for other cities across the state and nation.

“Our city is the ideal location to conduct this research to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond, and recover from threats and hazards that can affect not only our community but the impacts they have on the nation’s critical infrastructure.” Mayor Turner said. “Houston has a long-standing partnership with our public and private sectors to identify and insure a thorough understanding of risks and determining capabilities in order to address those risks for the sake of keeping public safety a main priority and minimize disruption for our city’s massive economic contributions.”

The Jack Voltaic 2.0 exercise will be held in a closed environment at the Houston Emergency Center (HEC) from July 24th – 26th, 2018.