NATO CCDCOE Locked Shields

FS-ISAC, the only global cyber intelligence sharing community solely focused on financial services, announced today that it will lead the financial services sector scenario in NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) Exercise Locked Shields this year, the world’s largest and most complex live-fire cyber exercise, taking place 19-22 April 2022.

NATO CCDCOE Locked Shields facilitates systematic, multinational, multi-sector, public-private cyber defense cooperation and coordination to prepare against nation-state threats. The exercise, held annually since 2010, tests national, civilian, and military IT systems’ ability to protect vital services and critical infrastructure by simulating a series of realistic, large-scale cyberattacks against a fictional country.

“Cooperation at this scale reflects the interdependencies of all critical infrastructure sectors and the public sector,” said Steven Silberstein, CEO of FS-ISAC.

“Exercises like Locked Shields help build the muscle memory to respond to real world cyber attacks,” said Teresa Walsh, Global Head of Intelligence at FS-ISAC. “While the scenarios are not specifically tied to the current conflict, exercise planners look to integrate recent geopolitical circumstances and cyber threat actor tactics, techniques, and procedures, so that teams continually upgrade their response capabilities.”

FS-ISAC convened a Scenario Expert Planning Group comprised of member firms, including Mastercard and Santander, to develop and inform the financial services sector scenario.

“In cybersecurity, you don’t want to invent something new in the middle of a crisis. That’s the value of large-scale, cross-border exercises like Locked Shields. They allow both the public and private sectors to test, analyze, and enhance our response capabilities in a real-world environment,” said Ron Green, Chief Security Officer, Mastercard.

“Partnerships, such as with FS-ISAC, allow us to include technical and strategic decision-making elements to better prepare national leadership for large-scale incident response,” said Colonel Jaak Tarien, Director of the CCDCOE, a NATO-affiliated cyber defense hub. 

Locked Shields is the largest and most complex international, live-fire cyber defense exercise globally. It includes nearly 2000 participants from 32 countries, with over 5000 virtualized systems subject to more than 8000 attacks. In addition to securing complex IT systems, participating teams must also be effective in reporting incidents, strategic decision making, and solving forensic, legal, media, and information operations challenges.

For more information about Locked Shields, see CCDCOE’s news. For more information about FS-ISAC’s exercise program, click here.

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