Lithuania is taking part in one of the largest international live-fire cyber defence exercise Locked Shields 2018 on April 8–12 with a joint team of specialists from the National Cyber Security Centre and the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Just like in the past, the Lithuanian team will include partners from the U.S. and Georgia.
“We are taking part in the exercise this year with the Lithuanian Armed Forces, our team is supported with expert knowledge by our colleagues from the U.S. and Georgia. This way we not only test our capabilities in responding to cyber incidents at an exercise but also develop international cooperation with our allies and partners,” Director of the National Cyber Security Centre Dr Rytis Rainys says.
Participating teams of Lithuania, our allies and partners are providing assistance to a fictional country in handling large-scale cyber incidents and all their multiple implications. In addition to maintaining nearly 4000 virtualised systems while experiencing more than 2500 attacks, the teams must be effective in reporting and preventing incidents, solving forensic challenges, and executing strategic decisions.
“Locked Shields exercise enables to practice solving cyber incidents in the most complex and intense playground possible. To build resilience against cyberattacks against our critical infrastructure, such as power supply or telecommunications, we need to understand both the technical and strategic challenges that entails,” said Col Jaak Tarien, Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) . “Locked Shields underlines the need for interdisciplinary approach in cyber defence solutions,” added Col Tarien.
According to Lauri Luht, Head of Cyber Exercises at CCDCOE, the exercise this year has reached to the higher 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 system and power generating substations, 4G public safety network for law enforcement and emergency communication, and other critical systems.”
It is a Red team vs. Blue Team exercise, where the latter are formed by member nations of CCDCOE. The participating Blue Teams play the role of national cyber rapid reaction teams.
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, depends upon. To keep up with technology advancements, Locked Shields focuses on realistic scenarios and cutting-edge technologies, relevant networks and attack methods.
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.
Photo credits: Sgt Spc Lukas Tamošiūnas (MoD) and CCDCOE