Recently I participated in Locked Shields, considered one of the biggest live-fire cyber defense exercises in the world. This was my second year being part of a blue team in such a fun and challenging event. Locked Shields is an annual exercise organized by the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE).
The primary focus of this exercise is training of security professionals who protect nation IT systems. Each team has the same configuration of systems that they must protect. And since we were representing a fictional nation state, we had a UAV that must stay in the air and on a designated path. This was the same with this years competition, but with a larger configuration.
When I attended last year for the first time, I was part of the Estonian Defence Forces team. We were one of 20 Blue Teams representing 19 nations. My primary function was to protect the Windows-based systems. Which I did a mediocre job. This was my first adventure in such an endeavor. We finished the competition I believe in fifth place.
This year I was part of the United States team which consisted of US Army, Air Force and Civilians. Everything scaled up for this years competition. There were now 25 nations represented from within and outside of NATO. There were many more systems to protect and an increase on the allowed size of the teams to protect them. They went beyond just the UAV system and included power, fuel and industry. This time, I spent my time protecting the UAV system. The UAV system was hosted on Windows, which is my familiarity and which I did a better job at than the previous year.
If you want to learn more about this exercise, please see the following links: