In the News April 23
U.S./NATO Conduct Massive Cyber Warfare Exercises
Corporate Participants in the 2022 Locked Shields
Locked Shields 2022 was organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CDCOE) in conjunction with several corporations. In its news release on the outcome of the exercise, NATO “acknowledges the unique elements added to Locked Shields 2022 by Microsoft, the Financial Service Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), SpaceIT, Fortinet.”
Several of these organizations have issued their own statement on the exercise.
Financial Service information Sharing and Analysis Centre
The FS-ISAC describes itself as “the only global cyber intelligence sharing community solely focused on financial services.” It says its members, which come from 70 countries, represent 100 trillion dollars in assets. It praises Locked Shields as “a systematic, multinational, multi-sector, public-private cyber defence cooperation and coordination to prepare against nation-state threats.”
“Exercises like Locked Shields help build the muscle memory to respond to real-world cyber attacks,” said Teresa Walsh, Global Head of Intelligence, FS-ISAC. “While the scenarios are not specifically tied to the current conflict, exercise planners look to integrate recent geopolitical circumstances and cyber threat actor tactics, techniques, and procedures, so that teams continually upgrade their response capabilities.”
FS-ISAC reports that it convened a “Scenario Expert Planning Group comprised of member firms including Mastercard and Santander, among others, to develop and inform the financial services sector scenario.”
SpaceIT says it is “a space tech company providing a cloud-based platform for mission control and ground station services. We offer Mission Control as a Service, a one-stop solution for satellite operations.” The infrastructure it provides includes “cloud-based Mission Control System; connection to a worldwide network of ground stations; and satellite management.”
Fortinet issued a statement on April 22 which promoted the importance of the exercise. Fortinet says it provides cybersecurity for “the largest enterprise, service provider, and government organizations around the world.” Writing about the Locked Shields, it says, “nation-states and organizations can have all the best-of-breed, state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, but unless their teams practice deploying and employing them and partake in cyberthreats drills, they could have sub-optimal results—including high-profile security failures—in a real-live attack.”
It adds that “Locked Shields takes six months of planning between the CCDCOE, industry partners like Fortinet, and participating nations.” It explains that the virtual networks used are custom built and “emulate both civilian and military systems.” Emphasis is placed on providing an “experience that accurately imitates a real-world cyber intrusion.”
Fortinet further reports that this year’s Locked Shields provided “an unprecedented opportunity to test their cyber-defence skills in a safe environment while being aggressively challenged by a highly skilled adversary.”
Fortinet also says the “collaborative cyber warfare games are important,” because of “their unique ability to bring together countries, educational entities, NGOs, international organizations, and businesses.” It says a big benefit of the exercises is “the camaraderie that comes from common experiences among like-minded nation-states and individuals,” adding that it participates in the exercises for “both altruistic and self-serving reasons.”
TML Daily, posted April 23, 2022.