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Lithuania takes part in the largest cyber defence Exercise Locked Shields


Lithuanian team formed mainly by personnel of the National Cyber Security Centre under the Ministry of National Defence is training is the largest and most advanced international cyber defence Exercise Locked Shields 2018 on April 25-27.


The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) organises the exercise every year. The Lithuanian team is formed by the National Cyber Security Centre and specialists from other units of the National Defence System. This year the team is joined by cyber security specialists from the United States and the United Kingdom.


“This cyber defence exercise provides a unique opportunity to our specialists to test the knowledge and skills they have in live-fire conditions. The systems “defended” at the exercise resemble national IT systems and critical information infrastructure, also include elements of industrial management systems. ŠInternational cooperation is very important on this battlefield too – cyberspace does not have geographical borders,” head of the technical Lithuanian cyber defence team, representative of the National Cyber Security Centre Captain Martynas Damkus says. According to the officer, cooperation with NATO colleagues allow exchanging work experience, establish communication that is very useful in practice.


In 2018 Locked Shields will highlight the growing need to enhance dialogue between various experts and decision-making levels. Organisers integrate the technical and strategic game, enabling participating nations to practice the entire chain of command in the event of a severe cyber incident.


“Involvement of state-level decision-makers is vital for an effective fight against the increasing threat of cyber-attacks. Therefore, scenario-based network defence exercise conducted in real time will allow us to test the interaction between the security experts and institutional leadership again,” head of the strategic part of the Lithuanian team Vice Minister of National Defence Edvinas Kerza says.


Seeking to ensure versatility of the team, both civilian and military cyber security capabilities are involved. Considering the current cyber threats that are concerning nations the most, the exercise will address the protection of vital services and critical infrastructure.


According to the scenario, a fictional country, Berylia, is experiencing a deteriorating security situation, where a number of hostile events coincide with coordinated cyber attacks against a major civilian internet service provider and military airbase. The attacks cause severe disruptions in the operation of the electric power grid, 4G public safety networks, drone operation and other critical infrastructure components. While the aim of the tech game is to maintain the operation of various systems under intense pressure, the strategic part should serve as a forum to understand the impact of decisions made at the strategic and policy level.


Technical exercise infrastructure is located in Tallinn, Estonia, while the participating Blue Teams have secure online access from their nations.


The Lithuanian team has invited representatives from Vilnius University and Kaunas University of Technology who help organising the annual national cyber defence Exercise Cyber Shield to take part in Locked Shields 2018.


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, 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, openvpn.net, GuardTime and numerous others.


Photo credits: NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (Locked Shields 2017)

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