Cybersecurity · cyberwar

International Live-Fire Cyber Defence Exercise Kicked Off This Week

The largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world, Locked Shields 2018, organised by NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence takes place this week.The exercise includes new critical infrastructure components and integrates the technical and strategic game, enabling participating nations to practice the entire chain of command in solving a large-scale a cyber incident. 

“Locked Shields exercise enables to practice solving cyber incidents in the most complex and intense playground possible. To build resilience against cyber attacks against our critical infrastructure, such as power supply or telecommunications, we need to understand both the technical and strategic challenges that entails,” said Merle Maigre, Director of the NATO-accredited cyber defence hub. “Locked Shields underlines the need for interdisciplinary approach in cyber defence solutions,” adds Maigre.

According to Aare Reintam, Project Manager of Technical Exercises at CCDCOE, the exercise this year has reached an unprecedented level of complexity: “Considering the real-world cyber threats at national level, the training audience has a unique opportunity to practice the defence of a large scale power grid control SCADA system and substations, 4G public safety network for law enforcement and emergency communication, PLC controlled water purification plant and military surveillance drone and ground station controlling the drone operations.”

The annual real-time network defence exercise is a unique opportunity for national cyber defenders to practise protection of national IT systems and critical infrastructure under the pressure of a severe cyber attack.

It is a Red team vs. Blue Team exercise, where the latter are formed by member nations of CCDCOE. Blue Teams exercise the role of national rapid reaction teams that are deployed to assist a fictional country in handling a large-scale cyber incident. Blue Teams mostly consist of national military and civilian cyber security experts. The exercise involves around 4000 virtualised systems and more than 2500 attacks altogether. In addition to keeping up complex IT systems the Blue Teams must be effective in reporting incidents, executing strategic decisions and solving forensic, legal and media challenges.  This year the exercise focuses on the protection of key systems of energy and communication that our entire modern lifestyle, both in the military and civilian sphere, depend upon. To stay abreast of market developments, Locked Shields focuses on cutting-edge technologies, scenarios, networks and attack methods.

Locked Shields 2018 is organised by CCDCOE in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish Defence Forces, the Swedish Defence University, the British Joint Army, the United States European Command, CERT.LV, National Security Research Institute of the Republic of Korea and Tallinn University of Technology. Industry partners in the exercise include Siemens AG, Ericsson, Bittium, Goodmill, Threod Systems, Cyber Test Systems, Clarified Security, Iptron, Bytelife, BHC Laboratory,, GuardTime and numerous others.

Warm regards,

Kadri Kütt

Head of Communications

Phone: +372 717 6804 | Mobile +372 56 800 467

NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence | Tallinn, Estonia |