Locked Shields: The Ultimate Cybersecurity War Game You Need to Know About

The annual Locked Shields cybersecurity exercise took place from 18 to 21 April this year in Estonia, hosted by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE).

Over 4000 participants from around 38 countries worldwide participated this year to protect simulated computer systems from live attacks and enhance their tactical and strategic decision-making abilities during critical situations.

This high level of participation, according to Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur, might be due to the fact that last year’s Russia-Ukraine warfare has demonstrated the utter need for cyber defense.

What’s Locked Shields All About?

Locked Shields is about attacking RED TEAMS vs. defending BLUE TEAMS. It is a training exercise involving NATO CCDCOE member states and partner countries.

locked shields

Red teams represent as enemy deploying all kinds of real-time attacks and Blue Teams depict National Cyber Rapid Reaction Teams that are tasked to protect a mock country facing large-scale cyber attacks.

Blue Teams are supposed to defend the state’s “information systems and critical infrastructure,” such as National Banks and Power plants.

Not only this but they are also entrusted with making important management decisions during critical and pressurized situations and ensuring that these decisions are thoroughly thought out.

It’s interesting to note that the exercise not just focuses on cyber defense but also on decision-making, strategizing, and cooperation.

Cyber emergencies, according to Mart Noorma, director of NATO CCDCOE, necessitate a collaborative effort among the decision-makers and specialists from various government organizations and professions.

“In the case of a severe cyberattack, immediate coordination is critical to preventing a security situation from escalating,” Noorma added.

Therefore, “Locked Shields focuses on strategic games, legal difficulties, and crisis communication, in addition to cyber protection.”

How is this Helpful?

Since cyber threats are only becoming more sophisticated and prevalent, exercises like Locked Shields serve as a valuable opportunity to test and strengthen our defenses against real attacks.

As Noorma said, “We can be better equipped to manage real critical situations with the aid of drills like Locked Shields.”

For more news and updates on Cybersecurity, visit The Cybersecurity Club.

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