World’s Largest International Technical Cyber Defence Exercise Takes Place Next Week

Locked Shields 2016, the biggest and most advanced international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world, will take place on April 18-22. The annual scenario-based real-time network defence exercise focuses on training the security experts who protect national IT systems on a daily basis.

Over 550 people and a total of 26 nations are involved in Locked Shields 2016, organized since 2010 by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. 20 Blue Teams representing 19 nations and NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) are tasked to maintain the networks and services of a fictional country under intense pressure. While the organizers of the exercise will gather in Tallinn, Estonia, the participating Blue Teams will have online access to the exercise networks and typically work from their home countries.

Realistic technologies, networks and attack methods will be in the focus of Locked Shields 2016 to stay abreast with market developments. More than 1700 possible attacks are carried out against Blue Teams and over 1500 virtualised systems are deployed during Locked Shields 2016. The virtualized Blue Team networks are custom-built and include a variety of services and platforms.

Locked Shields 2016 is organised in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish Defence Forces, the Swedish Defence College, the British Army, the United States European Command, and numerous other partners.

The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCD COE) is a NATO-accredited knowledge hub, think-tank and training facility. The international military organisation focuses on interdisciplinary applied research and development, as well as consultations, trainings and exercises in the field of cyber security. The Centre’s mission is to enhance capability, cooperation and information-sharing between NATO, Allies and partners in cyber defence. Membership of the Centre is open to all Allies. Currently, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States have signed on as Sponsoring Nations of the Centre. Austria and Finland have become Contributing Participants – the status available for non-NATO nations.