International Cyber Defence Exercise Begins Today

International Cyber Defence Exercise Locked Shields 2013 which involves 250 people in 11 locations all over Europe kicked off today. Locked Shields is a real-time network defence exercise which takes place in a specially set up virtual environment and challenges the defence skills of 10 Blue Teams. The exercise lasts for two days and the best team will be announced on Friday.

The aim of the exercise is to train the teams of IT specialists on how to detect and mitigate large-scale cyber attacks and handle incidents. Although the scenario of the exercise is fictitious and the events take place in a specially built environment, the attack and defence methods used are from the real life. By making the exercise as realistic as possible, the organisers are giving the Blue Team members an opportunity to test their skills under real-life conditions. Since nine nations and one international organisation are taking part of the event, it is also an opportunity for different nations and teams to work together and thus enhance their real-life cooperation.

The ten Blue Teams are from Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Slovakia and NATO. Exercise control is located on the premises of NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia.

The exercise is organised by NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, Finnish Defence Forces, Estonian Defence Forces, Estonian Cyber Defence League and Estonian Information Systems’ Authority. Great technical support was received from Cisco, Clarified Networks, Clarified Security and Bytelife.

NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence is an International Military Organisation located in Tallinn, Estonia. It is not an operational centre and does not fall within the NATO command structure; it is guided and financed by the nations participating in its work. Centre’s mission is to enhance the capability, cooperation and information sharing among NATO, its member nations and partners in cyber defence by virtue of education, research and development, lessons learned and consultation.