Cyber experts from 26 Allies and five partner nations successfully conducted
Exercise Cyber Coalition 2014 (CC14) from 18 to 20 November
2014. NATO’s largest annual
cyber defence exercise provided a stage for exercising strategic- and
operational-level information sharing, senior-level decision making, and
multi-disciplined coordination in the cyber realm.
In addition to the national participants, the NCI Agency participated
along with NATO’s Cyber Defence Management Board, the NATO Computer Incident
Response Capability Coordination Centre, and NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges
Division. The Cyber Security Service Line (CSSL) Operations Team
and NATO Computer Incident Response Capability Technical Centre led the
management of the many cyber crisis scenarios presented in a high operational
ampo, and a volatile and uncertain
simulated NATO-Coalition environment.
Coordinating a swift response
The Exercise Control staff based themselves in Tartu, Estonia, home
to a newly developed “cyber range”— a virtual environment used specifically for
cyber warfare training and cyber technique development. The
masterminds behind the training scenarios took full advantage of Estonia’s cyber
range, enabling new levels of realism to the exercise.
While this was a cyber defence exercise, the objectives went far
beyond cyber security and technical capability challenges.
Especially important was the exercising of communication between various
NATO bodies, national cyber defence capabilities, and industry partners.
This year’s exercise scenarios included malicious code, mobile
device eavesdropping, loss of precision radar targeting capabilities, and
hostile intelligence service agents acting from inside the coalition
network. As a response to one of the exercise injects, the newly
acquired Cyber Security Rapid Reaction Team deployed with a full complement of
field-hardened equipment to Athens, Greece, demonstrating its ability to be on
site on short notice to diagnose cyber security issues and swiftly restore
Plans for Cyber Coalition 2015 are already underway.
Exercise coordinator, Allied Command Transformation, plans to seek
increased membership in the exercise control team, new venues, and new
challenging scenarios for the next training audience. CC15 should
be another great exercise!