Locked Shields 2024: ESET bolsters Slovak cyber defence during live-fire NATO exercise

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BRATISLAVA — May 3, 2024 Experts from ESET joined with the combined team of the Slovak Republic and Hungary militaries to participate in Locked Shields 2024 – the biggest and most complex cyber defence exercise in the world. The live-fire exercise, involving 40 countries, saw ESET contribute security solutions and more than 50 experts to a number of tactical teams, ensuring a top-flight position for the central European country which participates in the annual exercise run by NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCD COE).

With collaboration being the focus of the 14th annual exercise (the slogan being “Cooperation Is Our Protection”), ESET supplied the Slovak-Hungarian team with defensive capabilities which particularly contributed to the team’s top three placings in cyber threat intelligence, client-side protection, forensics and strategic communications, taking home an overall 4th place position among the 18 participating teams made up of similar cross-country units.

The Slovak-Hungarian team successfully followed its strategic objectives and was built not only on expertise and state-of-the-art security technologies, but most importantly on communication and intensive cooperation between the participants, who worked together to defend the vital infrastructure of fictitious country Berylia in the face of massive cyber attacks designed to cripple the country and create public unrest.

“Locked Shields promotes the concept that collaboration is one of NATO’s greatest strengths – increasing the level of protection for all member states, their people, businesses and critical infrastructure,” said Juraj Malcho, CTO of ESET.  “ESET is proud to support the Slovak Ministry of Defence in this live fire exercise, by providing experts in cyber security, forensics, threat intelligence, legal and strategic communications, as well as our XDR cybersecurity platform ESET Protect. Together, we are stronger against any powerful adversary wishing to cause disruption.”

The Slovak team was led by the Cyber Defence Centre of Slovak Military Intelligence. During the exercise, the Slovak government sector was represented by experts from the ministries of defence, finance, interior, transport, and foreign affairs. ESET’s experts and technologies contributed to the rapid detection and response to cyberattacks. Experts from the Slovak branch of Palo Alto Networks and Orange Slovensko a.s. also helped with both securing and management of the infrastructure. The team dealing with cyberspace legal challenges was led by an expert from SIGNUM legal s.r.o. talented students and their professors from the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Comenius University in Bratislava, the Armed Forces Academy of general Milan Rastislav Štefánik, and young Slovak talents studying at foreign universities also came to support the national team.