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04 13 2021

NATO team to participate in cyber security exercise Locked Shields

More than 2,000 cyber security experts and decision makers are set to go head-to-head this week in the world's largest global live-fire cyber defence exercise.

Exercise Locked Shields is organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE).

NATO team to participate in cyber security exercise Locked Shields

The NATO Cyber Security Centre is leading the NATO Alliance Team in this year's exercise. This year's Alliance team is made up of nearly 60 experts coming from the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency, as well as from other NATO bodies and more than 10 NATO Allies.

"Locked Shields offers participating nations an unprecedented opportunity to test their skills in a safe environment, while being aggressively challenged by a highly skilled adversary. Each team must defend virtualised networks that are custom-built and include a variety of services and platforms, emulating both civilian and military systems," said Ian West, Chief of the NATO Cyber Security Centre.

Exercise Locked Shields is a Red team vs. Blue Team exercise. In 2021 there are 22 Blue Teams participating, which take on the role of national cyber Rapid Reaction Teams that are deployed to assist a fictional country in handling a large-scale cyber incident with all of its implications. The exercise involves about 5,000 virtualised systems that are subject to more than 4,000 attacks.

Participating teams will be hoping to successfully defend their national civilian and military IT systems and critical infrastructure. The teams will be required to adapt in real-time and deal with multiple sophisticated cyber-attacks – providing them with an opportunity to realistically test their chain of command in a safe environment.

"This exercise cannot be successfully played, especially during this difficult time of COVID restrictions, without an extreme level of dedication and passion for cyber security, and IT in general," said Slawomir Roginski, the Lead for the NATO Alliance Team.

About the NATO Cyber Security Centre: The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency runs the NATO Cyber Security Centre, which defends NATO networks 24/7. The Centre is on the frontlines of responding to threats to NATO networks.