FS-ISAC Represents Global Financial Sector in Cyber Defense Exercise Locked Shields

Live-fire exercise to challenge strength of the global financial system against a catastrophic cyber incident

Reston, VA, April 24, 2024 – FS-ISAC, the member-driven, not-for-profit organization that advances cybersecurity and resilience in the global financial system, today announced it is convening 18 member financial firms from across the globe to participate in the annual NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) Exercise Locked Shields. Locked Shields is the world’s largest annual live-fire cyber defense exercise, focused on enhancing international collaboration and readiness to address cyber threats. The exercise takes place April 22-25, 2024. 

Locked Shields 2024 presents a series of fictional events that challenge the security of national, civilian, and military IT systems; critical infrastructure; and crisis management processes. The exercise also addresses the risks posed by emerging technology, including a specific scenario on artificial intelligence and the malicious use of deepfakes to spread misinformation and degrade public confidence in the global financial system. Over 4,000 participants from more than 40 countries will leverage their collective technical, strategic, legal, and communication expertise to develop a cyber defense strategy. FS-ISAC will lead the financial sector in working to address the challenges facing the global financial system. 
“Locked Shields employs a comprehensive, collaborative approach, challenging participants to overcome intricate cyber challenges and establish the muscle memory needed to defend against today’s evolving cyber threats,” said Steven Silberstein, CEO, FS-ISAC. “This unique, simulated environment provides an opportunity for our members and the financial sector at large to not only bolster cyber capabilities and strategies in the event of an actual incident, but to do so in alignment with the changing regulatory environment.”

Established in 2010, Locked Shields is the largest and most complex international, live-fire cyber defense exercise in the world. In this year’s exercise, 18 teams will work to protect over 6,000 virtualized systems, which will be subject to more than 8,000 attacks, including vulnerable power, satellite, and air defense systems as well as several unique ICT solutions including AI enhanced platforms. 

Eighteen FS-ISAC member firms participated in this year’s exercise, including Bank ABC and Nordic Financial CERT.

“We are pleased to see continued growth and increasing international involvement in Locked Shields, with more nations and partners from public and private sectors participating with the goal of enhancing global cyber defense collaboration and incident response capabilities,” said LtC Urmet Tomp, Exercise Director at NATO CCDCOE. “Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure often reverberate across borders and industries, and Locked Shields offers a great environment for global participants to work together, share innovative strategies, exchange best practices, and develop a diverse cyber defense plan of action under pressure.” 

“Exercises like Locked Shields are becoming more important than ever as emerging technology and heightened geopolitical tensions threaten trust in the global financial system,” said Cameron Dicker, Global Head of Business Resilience, FS-ISAC. “It is critical that financial services firms, public partners, and third-party service providers seize the opportunity to collaborate and formulate cohesive incident response strategies to strengthen the technical and interpersonal skills needed to mitigate a live incident.”

For more information about Locked Shields, see CCDCOE’s news

For more information about FS-ISAC’s exercise program, click here.


FS-ISAC is the member-driven, not-for-profit organization that advances cybersecurity and resilience in the global financial system, protecting the financial institutions and the people they serve. Founded in 1999, the organization’s real-time information-sharing network amplifies the intelligence, knowledge, and practices of its members for the financial sector’s collective security and defenses. Member financial firms represent $100 trillion in assets in 75 countries.

Contacts for Media