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Organized by the NATO Center for Excellence in Cooperative Cyber Defense (CCDCOE), the “Block Shields” exercise provides participating nations with an unprecedented opportunity to test their skills in a safe environment, while being aggressively challenged by a qualified opponent
Each team must defend personalized virtual networks that include a variety of services and platforms, emulating civilian and military systems. The teams are composed of around 60 experts from the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI), as well as from other Alliance organizations and from more than 10 member countries.
In the 2021 edition, this exercise pits a red team against 22 blue teams, taking on the role of national cyber rapid reaction teams that are challenged to help a fictional country deal with a large-scale cyber incident, with all its implications.
Participating teams, which will have to successfully defend their national civilian and military IT systems and critical infrastructures, will have to adapt in real-time and deal with multiple and sophisticated cyber attacks, giving them the opportunity to realistically test their chain command.