The active phase of one of the largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defence exercises Locked Shields 2019 has come to end. Over a thousand cyber security experts from 30 NATO allies and partners, including teams from NATO and EU agencies, practiced defending complex networks and systems of vital services.
Lithuania was represented at the exercise by a joint team of as many as 42 specialists from managers of critical infrastructure and communications operators and the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Colleagues from the U.S. and Georgia also backed up the Lithuanian team with expertise this year.
„The exercise has given us the opportunity not only to test the capabilities of the National Cyber Security Centre and the Lithuanian Armed Forces in responding to cyber incidents but also to strengthen the international cooperation with our allies and partners from the U.S. and Georgia even more,” Director of the National Cyber Security Centre Dr Rytis Rainys says.
In total, 23 Blue Teams were training in the exercise to protect and ensure continuous operation of nearly 4 thousand virtualised systems while experiencing over 2.5 thousand cyber-attacks launched on them by the Red Teams.
This year the exercise was highlighting the need for improved dialogue between experts and decision-makers. For that purpose, the technical game was integrated with the strategic part, enabling participating nations to practise the entire chain of command in the event of a severe cyber incident.
“The exercise serves as a valuable platform for strategic decision-makers in understanding the possible sequence of incidents in case of a cyberattack. Locked Shields enables the decision makers to gain better understanding of possible implications and issues to be resolved, to identify necessary procedures of internal as well as international consultation and set up of a proper crisis coordination system,” explained Cdr Michael Widmann, Chief of Strategy Branch at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCDCOE) which is the organiser of the exercise.
The annual real-time network defence exercise Locked Shields is a unique opportunity for national cyber defenders to practise protection of national IT systems and critical infrastructure under the intense pressure of a severe cyberattack.
Locked Shields 2019 is organised by CCDCOE in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish Defence Forces, the United States European Command, National Security Research Institute of the Republic of Korea, TalTech, and industry partners. One of the largest cyber defence exercises in the world is a unique opportunity for national cyber experts to practise protection of national IT systems and critical infrastructure under the intense pressure of a severe cyberattack.