The NATO cyber exercise Cyber Coalition, which began yesterday at Foundation CR14, in Tallinn, is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The aim of the exercise, which runs from 28 November to 2 December, is to enhance the capabilities of NATO Allies and partners to defend their networks and cooperation in cyberspace.
Taking place for the fifteenth time, the exercise participants include around 1,000 cyber defenders from 26 Allied countries, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, and Switzerland. The European Union is also represented, along with participants from the private sector and academia. South Korea is participating as an observer. During the exercise, participates will train to tackle real-life challenges, such as cyberattacks on electricity infrastructure and NATO allied forces in the context of operations.
“Although we don’t hear as much about it, there are ongoing cyber operations against Ukraine that began even before 24 February. Cyber-attacks also take place against Allied countries on a daily basis, although resistance to these attacks is by no means a given. This is why the Allies need to run through a host of possible scenarios at the NATO level, to ensure that when asked about cyber-attacks we can continue to answer: Yes, there have been some, but so far, they have not had a significant impact,” explained Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur.
“Allies are committed to protecting their critical infrastructure, building resilience and bolstering their cyber defences. We will continue raising our guard against such malicious cyber activities in the future, and support each other to deter, defend against and counter the full spectrum of cyber threats. This includes considering possible collective counterattacks,” said U.S. Navy Commander Charles Elliott, Exercise Director. The exercise will enable NATO Allies to strengthen their capabilities to protect IT networks against cyberattacks around the clock and to exchange information on cyberattacks in real time with Allies and partners.
The Cyber Coalition has been organised in Estonia since 2013, in addition, participants will be joining the CR14-led exercise virtually from other capitals and locations. “It is a great honour and privilege for the CR14 cyber ranger team to support one of NATO’s most important collective defence exercises by offering a cyber range with extensive capabilities, one that has the potential to strengthen the cyber capabilities and innovation of both Estonia and our Allies,” said Siim Alatalu, CEO of CR14.
CR14 is a foundation established by the Ministry of Defence, based on more than 11 years of Cyber Range experience in the field of exercises, testing, validation and experimentation. The purpose of CR14 is cybersecurity research and development in the field of defence, promoting international cooperation in cybersecurity, organising training, and providing cybersecurity services. CR14’s cyber-physical solutions – power grid, 5G networks, military systems, IoT – also support specialised training, especially for critical infrastructure providers.
Additional information: shape.nato.int, [email protected], [email protected]