Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas Highlights the Unique Value of Exercise Locked Shields

The Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence was honoured to brief the Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas today on the unique aspects of the largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world.

„Locked Shields is an extraordinary testament of what can be achieved in cooperation of like-minded nations and highly skilled experts from various fields. Cyber defenders need to be ready 24/7, especialy during the time of this pandemic when our societies depend even more on safe cyberspace solutions. It is important to practice our cyber defence capabilities on a regular basis and we also need to make sure that everyone involved can test their skills safely,“ said Kaja Kallas, Estonian Prime Minister. “We must also continue emphasising the need for training on strategic decision-making level. The Locked Shields also offers national senior-level decision-makers the chance to test their readiness to manage a crisis,” added Kallas.

Prime Minister Kallas also acknowledged the huge effort of the International team at CCDCOE in organising the exercise: „It is impressive how the NATO-affiliated cyber defence hub has expanded its reach, involving also several global partners of the Alliance. Estonia is exceedingly proud to offer a home base for the CCDCOE and we also recognise the responsibility this entails to provide excellent continuous support as the host nation also in the future.“

The largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world includes new cyber-physical systems and integrates technical and strategic elements, enabling participating nations to practise the entire chain of command in solving a large-scale a cyber incident. In 2021 over 2000 cyber cxperts from 30 nations are participating at the Locked Shields Exercise.

This year is unique from other iterations of Locked Shields in that for the first time the organisers will also be participating remotely rather than gathering in Tallinn as they have done in previous years. This new format will result in Locked Shields being the world’s largest globally conducted live-fire cyber defence exercise.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas was briefed on the unique nature of Locked Shields, the cyber-physical systems involved in the Exercise and the new dilemmas for the strategic decision making part of the Exercise.

PHOTOS of the brief (photos by Arno Mikkor, please also refer to the CCDCOE as the source)