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04 25 2024

NCIA participates in cyber defence exercise Locked Shields

Experts from the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) participated in Locked Shields, the world's largest and most complex live-fire cyber defence exercise, organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE).

This year, the NATO team partnered up with Latvia in their National Defence Academy in Riga joining forces with over 200 experts from different backgrounds to address the multifaceted nature of cyber threats.

NCIA participates in cyber defence exercise Locked Shields

Locked Shields 2024 saw the participation of 4,000 experts from more than 40 countries training to protect the infrastructure of a fictional country in a simulated environment. This year's iteration included an innovative structure and cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 5G technologies to mirror the current trends in the cyber defence space.

The experts confronted a series of challenges that replicate the complexity of real-world cyber defence, including critical thinking, strategic decision-making, legal considerations, crisis communication, and strategic planning, all aimed at bolstering their cyber defence capabilities.

"This exercise is a great opportunity to foster collaboration in a time-sensitive and highly compromised environment. This year, the NATO team joined over 200 Latvian cyber experts, who already had a cyber-strategy in place for the exercise. We worked together to enhance it and expand upon challenging our skills and ways of working," said Frederik Boone, NATO Cyber Security Centre Engineer and NATO Team Lead.

"Successful cyber security on a national level heavily depends on cooperation. This year, we had the invaluable opportunity to work with NATO experts, which allowed for a unique knowledge exchange and broadening of our skills. Only through cooperation, we can address real life cyber threats," said Eriks Dobelis, the Latvian Team Lead from the Cyber Defence Unit at the Latvian National Guard.

NCIA has participated in this annual exercise since its inception 14 years ago. This is the second year the NATO team joined alongside a NATO Nation. In Locked Shields 2023, NATO teamed up with the United Kingdom and Denmark. This year, NATO partnered with Latvia, the largest team it has worked with so far. NATO sent 27 experts from NCIA, NATO bodies and partners to collaborate with Latvian experts in person.