Military Intelligence
Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic

Locked Shields 2024: „Cooperation Is Our Protection“

Cyber security experts from the Slovak Republic have proved once again that they belong to the world class in the field of cyber security. A joint team from the Slovak Republic and Hungary, consisting of representatives from the governmental, private, and academic sectors, performed exceptionally well during the Locked Shields 2024 exercise. It is the world’s largest and the most complex cyber defence exercise. Our joint team was only a few points away from a medal position. The overall winner became the joint NATO-Latvia team.

The exercise is held annually under the auspices of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCD COE). This year, more than 4,000 of the best experts from 40 countries around the world participated at this exercise. The 14th edition of the exercise was held under the motto "COLLABORATIO TUTELA NOSTRA EST" (translated as "Cooperation is our protection"). The focus has shifted from an individual capability of NATO member states to respond to cyber-attacks, to the overall capability to collaborate and to share information among member states and partners in an effective and timely manner. The joint Slovak-Hungarian team's strategy successfully reflected these objectives. Therefore, it was focused not only on expertise and state-of-the-art security technologies, but most importantly, it paid a close attention to communication and intensive cooperation among the participants, who worked together to defend the vital infrastructure of a fictitious nation state facing massive cyber-attacks.

The participation of the Slovak part of joint team was led by the Cyber Defence Center of the Slovak Republic of the Millitary Intelligence. The governmental sector was represented by experts from the Ministries of Defence, Finance, Interior, Transport, and Foreign Affairs. Experts and technologies from ESET, s.r.o. contributed significantly to the rapid detection and the response to the cyber-attacks. Experts from the Slovak branch of Palo Alto Networks and Orange Slovensko, a.s. assisted with the administration and securing of the infrastructure. The team, which had to deal with the legal challenges of cyberspace, was led by an expert from SIGNUM legal s.r.o. The support from gifted students and their lecturers from the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Comenius University in Bratislava, the Armed Forces Academy of General Milan Rastislav Štefánik, as well as young Slovak talents studying abroad, contributed to the overall success of the national team significantly.