A team of nearly 40 cyber security experts led by the NATO Communications and Information Agency will compete this week (9-12 April) in Locked Shields 2019, the world’s largest live-fire cyber exercise.
The NATO team, which won the competition in 2018, is strengthened this year with ten volunteers from six NATO Allies: Bulgaria, Croatia, Norway, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey.
More than 1,000 international cyber defenders and decision-makers will take part in Locked Shields 2019. Organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Estonia, the event uses a game-based approach, enabling participants to take on roles in fictional response teams. Their goal is to assess a crisis situation, maintain services and defend networks that have fallen victim to cyber-attacks.
In the exercise scenario, the fictitious country Berylia faces coordinated cyber-attacks against its civilian infrastructure, while it is holding national elections. The job of NATO’s team will be to help contain the damage and protect the networks from further attacks. The exercise takes place in a laboratory environment.
Cyber exercises like Locked Shields are valuable opportunities for national and NATO cyber experts to practice protecting their IT systems and critical infrastructure against severe cyber attacks. This kind of training also promotes understanding and cooperation between civilian and military experts and decision-makers involved in responding to cyber threats.