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The importance of international collaboration in cyber security has become more and more evident. This has been demonstrated during a global special cyber exercise held this week. This year’s high-level cyber security Exercise Locked Shields event will be the largest global live-fire cyber defense exercise worldwide.

The event is organized by the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE).

The exercise scenario sees a fictional island state, Berylia, suffering a deteriorating security situation after a succession of hostile events coincide with coordinated cyberattacks against the state’s major military and civilian IT systems.

Under a new format for 2021, the exercise will aim to highlight the need for cyber defenders and strategic decision-makers to understand the numerous interdependencies between national IT systems of various countries.

The exercise will test NATO allies and other states’ abilities to protect vital services and critical infrastructure. Technical and strategic games will facilitate participating nations with whole-command-chain rehearsals in the context of a major cyber incident, affecting both military and civilian systems.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of participants will be taking part remotely, in their home states, rather than in-house on participating teams in Tallinn as with past events.

Founded in Tallinn in 2008, NATO CCDCOE is a NATO-accredited international military organization supporting its member states and NATO with cyber defense expertise in the fields of technology, strategy, operations and law. At the heart of the center is a diverse group of experts, including researchers, analysts, trainers and educators. A mix of military, government and industry backgrounds allows the center to provide a unique, 360-degree approach to cyber defense, as reported by news.err.ee.