NATO Won Cyber Defence Exercise Locked Shields 2018

The team from NATO won the largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defence exercise Locked Shields 2018. French and Czech team took second and third place respectively.

“The winning team excelled in all categories of the exercise. It was the first time NATO participated with a team representing different NATO agencies,” said Aare Reintam, Project Manager of Technical Exercises at CCDCOE.

“However, every single participating team deserves credit for handling the complex cyber challenges of Locked Shields. The exercise involved around 4000 virtualised systems and more than 2500 attacks altogether. In addition to keeping up more than 150 complex IT systems per team, the Blue Teams had to be efficient in reporting incidents, executing strategic decisions and solving forensic, legal and media challenges. Protection of critical infrastructure is essential for ensuring the efficient operation of both military and civilian organisations, it is the foundation of our modern digital lifestyle,” added Reintam.

In 2018 the exercise highlighted the growing need to enhance dialogue between technical experts, civil and military participants and decision-making levels. CCDCOE integrates the technical and strategic game, enabling participating nations to practice the entire chain of command in the event of a severe cyber incident involving both civilian and military players. Considering the current cyber threats that are concerning nations the most, the exercise will address the critical information infrastructure protection.

The annual real-time network defence exercise is a unique opportunity for national cyber defenders to practise protection of national IT systems and critical infrastructure under the intense pressure of a severe cyber attack.

Locked Shields 2018 is organised by CCDCOE in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish Defence Forces, the Swedish Defence University, the British Joint Army, the United States European Command, CERT.LV, National Security Research Institute of the Republic of Korea and Tallinn University of Technology. Industry partners in the exercise include Siemens AG, Ericsson, Bittium, Goodmill, Threod Systems, Cyber Test Systems, Clarified Security, Iptron, Bytelife, BHC Laboratory,, GuardTime and numerous others.

More photos of Locked Shields 2018 (credits to CCDCOE, photographer Arno Mikkor)