Exercise Crossed Swords 2019 integrates cyber into full-scale of operations
Threod Systems contributed to the cyber defense exercise Crossed Swords 2019, organized by NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) and CERT.LV in Tallinn, Estonia. Technical experts, members of national Cyber Commands and special forces operators participated in the event. The exercise focused on advancing cyber Red Team members skills in preventing, detecting and responding to full-scale cyber operations. Additionally, this year the Cyber Command of the Estonian Defence Forces provided the command component.
Crossed Swords is an intense hands-on full-scale cyber operations exercise. Security experts and penetrations testers learn to cope better with diverse attack vectors. In addition, they test the offensive cyber capabilities. In this year’s exercise, several kinetic and cyber operations were carried out simultaneously. Including challenges to industrial control systems, physical security systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and maritime surveillance systems. Moreover, a novel element was the real-life unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) that had to be tackled by cyber means.
For the second time, Threod Systems supported the exercise with its newest technology. In 2018 exercise, the EOS mini UAV was used. This year the participants had a chance to operate on KX4-LE Titan and Threod simulators. It is noteworthy that Threods’ software and hardware developments are applied at high-level cyber defense exercises. From the participants’ point of view, this means practicing on actual systems, which gives it a realistic feel and improves situational awareness. For Threod this means a possibility to further improve the products and adjust security systems. It is a win-win situation and an outstanding experience. Moreover, Threod is also contributing with its technology at the Locked Shields exercise, world’s largest live fire cyber defense annual exercise organized by CCDCOE.
Lauri Luht, the Project Manager of Technical Exercises at the NATO CCDCOE, comments:
“Crossed Swords is one of the most challenging cyber exercises not because of its size, but because of the scale of different complex and interdisciplinary activities. This exercise is about collaboration, enabling participants to harness cross-domain synergy and integrate cyber with military tactics. The cross-domain approach and effective communication are the key factors to combat the threats, also by using the offensive tactics, if necessary.”
Bernhards Blumbergs, the exercise founder and technical director, a cyber security expert from CERT.LV, says:
“Every year, the organizers up the ante to provide valid learning opportunity for mission critical cyber operations. It’s a joint tactical exercise including technical experts, data collection experts and special forces operators brought under the same command. In this exercise teamwork is of crucial importance, be it for delegation, dividing and assigning roles or leadership, cooperation and information sharing, adequate time management and prioritization, and last but not the least, ability to convey the big picture to the commanders.”
Crossed Swords 2019 hosted more than 100 participants from 21 countries
In conclusion, the list of the event partners: