How cyber-attack prediction supported Locked Shields 2024

Riskaware trials cyber-attack prediction capability at Locked Shields 2024

Riskaware recently took part in Locked Shields 2024 from 23rd to 25th April. Organised by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), this is the world’s largest and most advanced live-fire cyber defence exercise. The annual exercise brought together 4000 experts of different disciplines from 40 nations to collectively tackle cyber threats aimed at critical infrastructure. For Riskware, it was an opportunity to trial our CyberAware Predict capability in an operational environment as part of a joint Swiss, Austrian and US team. 


The Locked Shields 2024 exercise took place in a decentralised, virtual training platform. Over the two days, coordinated real-time attacks were made against simulated computer networks and infrastructure belonging to a fictional nation state. In response, the participating teams were tasked to work together to detect, mitigate, and protect against these attacks.  


Various challenges were presented, designed to replicate real-world scenarios and test multiple skills. Participants needed to use their technical and strategic skills to develop a response strategy, but they were also expected to draw on other areas of knowledge. For example, the exercise assessed reporting and information systems, team decision-making, consideration for legal issues, and communication skills.  


Riskaware’s CyberAware Predict solution is designed for complex military cyber environments facing malicious multi-stage attacks. It analyses cyber threat intelligence feeds as well as observed attack data to predict adversary behaviour in real-time. Riskaware used this capability throughout the exercise to assess threats and provide predictive insights about future attacks that could inform defensive actions. 


This year’s Locked Shields exercise was a standout success. The NATO CCDCOE stated that teams joined forces to share information on common threats and early warning alerts to strengthen their collective security. The techniques used, and the outcomes of the exercise, demonstrated that the best approach in cyber warfare is to work as a coalition. 


Since its inception in 2010, Locked Shields has grown significantly and is considered to represent global standards for cyber defence. Each year, the number of attendees increases, solidifying the shared commitment of participating nations to improving international cyber defence capabilities and collaboration. By sharing knowledge, best practices, and strategies, and continually training new skills in challenging scenarios, nations can collectively build resilience against the evolving threats of the digital landscape. 


We hope to return next year and will continue to strengthen our cyber capabilities based on insights gained through collaboration on exercises like Locked Shields and advancements in the threat landscape. You can explore the work we do in cybersecurity here. 


“Locked Shields was an amazing opportunity to experience a full-scale NATO cyber exercise and trial our software.”

Dr Mart Noorma, Director of the NATO CCDCOE: 

“The purpose of the exercise is to help our nations develop their capabilities to face cyber threats as a coalition. We have real threats around us, and most of our participants came out of the trenches of real cyber warfare to participate in Locked Shields. I am confident they will go back defending their nations stronger than ever.” 

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