Locked Shields 2024 Sets the Stage for Advancing Global Cyber Defence

Locked Shields 2024, the world’s largest live-fire cyber defence exercise, is fast approaching, highlighting the global community’s commitment to combating cyber threats. Organised by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), this unique annual exercise goes beyond traditional cyber exercises by incorporating experts from different disciplines to address the multifaceted nature of cyber threats.

This year, about 4000 experts from more than 40 nations, will join forces in a simulated environment during Locked Shields to protect the infrastructure of a fictional nation and country. They will confront a series of challenges that replicate the complexity of real-world cyber defence, including critical thinking, strategic decision-making, legal considerations, crisis communication, and strategic planning, all aimed at bolstering their cyber defence capabilities.

The exercise’s strength lies in its comprehensive approach, combining technical skills with strategic, legal, and communication expertise to develop a diverse defence strategy. Participants are urged to leverage their collective skills, fostering an environment where collaboration is key to overcoming intricate cyber challenges.

The increased involvement of different nations and partners demonstrates the global reach and importance of Locked Shields 2024, serving as a testament to its role in enhancing international cyber defence collaboration. Locked Shields as a platform enables countries to exchange best practices, innovate strategies, and collectively improve their cyber incident response capabilities.

LtC Urmet Tomp, the Exercise Director at NATO CCDCOE, highlighted the spirit of collaboration that defines Locked Shields: “This exercise is a demonstration of the power of international cooperation, transcending borders and uniting a diverse community of experts from the public and private sectors and academia. We are grateful for the dedication and expertise of our allies and all our partners, which are crucial in building a resilient global cyber defence.”

As we approach the STARTEX of Locked Shields 2024, the participating nations and partners dedication reflects a shared commitment to strengthening our cyber defences. Since its inception in 2010 by the CCDCOE, Locked Shields has grown into the largest live-fire cyber defence exercise globally, setting the standard for international collaboration and comprehensive cyber readiness.


The CCDCOE is a NATO-accredited knowledge hub located in Tallinn, Estonia offering a unique interdisciplinary approach to the most relevant issues in cyber defence. The heart of the CCDCOE is a diverse group of international experts from the military, government, academia, and industry, currently representing 39 sponsoring and contributing nations. The CCDCOE encourages and supports the process of mainstreaming cybersecurity into NATO and national governance and capability within its closely connected focus areas of technology, strategy, operations, and law. The CCDCOE is also responsible for identifying and coordinating education and training solutions in the field of cyber defence operations for all NATO bodies across the Alliance.