International security experts focused on protecting national IT systems have competed and completed Locked Shields 2017, the annual live-fire cyber defense exercise organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia.


The team from the Czech Republic won the scenario-based real-time exercise to maintain the networks and services of a military air base of a fictional country, with the defensive team also taking the special prize for the scenario inject. The Estonian team and the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability team took second and third place respectively. 

Components of the exercise included the technical defense of virtualized infrastructure, as well as handling and reporting incidents, solving forensic challenges, and responding to legal and strategic communications and scenario injects.

"The winning team demonstrated that good tactics and stable performance in all categories can lead to best overall scores in the end," said Aare Reintam, technical exercise director at NATO CCD COE. "The experts of the Czech team performed also very well in the strategic track that was a new addition this year. The exercise was particularly challenging for all participants this year due to the increased scope and size of specialized systems involved. In the end all the teams have gained a valuable training experience, which is the ultimate goal of this defensive exercise."

The NCIRC team took first in the exercise’s legal game, the German team topped the forensic challenges, while the team from the United Kingdom achieved premier scores in the strategic communication challenges.