Cyber Defence Exercises /

Locked Shields 2017


24-28 Apr 2017

Participation by invitation only


Locked Shields is the world’s largest and most advanced international technical live-fire cyber defence exercise. This annual scenario-based, real-time network defence exercise, which has been organised by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence since 2010, focuses on training for security experts who protect national IT systems.

Every year, teams are put under intense pressure to maintain the networks and services of a fictional country. This includes handling and reporting incidents, solving forensic challenges, and responding to legal and strategic communications and scenario injects. To stay abreast of market developments, Locked Shields focuses on realistic and cutting-edge technologies, networks and attack methods.

In 2017 the Blue Teams will be tasked to maintain the services and networks of a military air base of a fictional country, which, according to the exercise scenario, will experience severe attacks on its electric power grid system, unmanned aerial vehicles, military command and control systems, critical information infrastructure components and other operational infrastructure. The size and scope of technologies, networks and devices used in Locked Shields 2017 has increased considerably – leading to more attacks and specialised systems involved. Specialised systems enable teams to practice the defence of systems that they are not working with on a regular basis. However, in the modern threat landscape incidents with specialised systems may potentially have a profound effect on a military mission or the entire society.

More than 2500 possible attacks can be carried out against Blue Teams and more than 3000 virtualised systems will be deployed during the exercise in 2017. In addition, a strategic track runs parallel to the exercise for the first time this year.

Around 800 participants from 25 nations will be involved in Locked Shields 2017. While the organisers of the exercise will gather in Tallinn, Estonia, the participating Blue Teams will have secure online access to the exercise networks from their home bases.

Locked Shields 2017 is organised in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish Defence Forces, the Swedish Defence University, the British Joint Army, the United States European Command, Air Operations COE and Tallinn University of Technology.

Industry partners in the exercise include Siemens AG, Threod Systems, Cyber Test Systems, Clarified Security, Iptron, Bytelife, BHC Laboratory,, GuardTime and numerous others.