From 18-22 April, Estonia is to host one of the biggest and most advanced international cyber defence exercises, Locked Shields 2016.
The annual scenario-based real-time network defence exercise focuses on training the security experts who protect national IT systems on a daily basis. Over 550 people and a total of 26 nations are involved in Locked Shields 2016, organised since 2010 by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.
In the exercise, 20 “blue teams” representing 19 nations and the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) are tasked to maintain the networks and services of a fictional country under intense pressure, the organisers said in a statement. While exercise happens in Tallinn, Estonia, the participating teams will have online access to the exercise networks and typically work from their home countries.
“Realistic technologies, networks and attack methods will be in the focus of Locked Shields 2016 to stay abreast with market developments,” the organisers said. “More than 1,700 possible attacks are carried out against the blue teams and over 1,500 virtualised systems are deployed during Locked Shields 2016.”
Locked Shields 2016 is organised in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish Defence Forces, the Swedish Defence College, the Royal Army, the United States European Command, and numerous other partners.
The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCD COE) is a NATO-accredited knowledge hub, think-tank and training facility. The international military organisation focuses on interdisciplinary applied research and development, as well as consultations, trainings and exercises in the field of cyber security. The Centre’s mission is to enhance capability, cooperation and information-sharing between NATO, allies and partners in cyber defence.
Currently, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States have signed on as sponsoring nations of the centre. Austria and Finland have become contributing participants – the status available for non-NATO nations.
Cover: Wikimedia Commons.