DND/CAF Participates in NATO Exercise Cyber Coalition
February 2, 2021 – Defence Stories
In mid-November, the Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces participated in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) hosted Exercise Cyber Coalition; NATO’s largest annual cyber exercise. This flagship exercise allowed participants to demonstrate their skills and focus on Cyber as a Force Domain.
Participants from industry, academia, and individual national cyber defence organizations were challenged on decision making processes, technical and operational procedures, collaboration, and NATO and National Cyber Defence Capabilities.
Once again, Defence Team members participated in this year’s exercise. Canada contributed 24 members from the Assistant Deputy Minister (Information Management)’s Director General Information Management Operations (DGIMO) and the Naval Reserves.
Adapting in the Virtual Landscape
Holding a multinational cyber defence exercise during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic brought its own challenges, but also opportunity. For the first time in its 13 year history, this exercise was completed entirely in a virtual environment, allowing approximately 1,000 participants to take part from 25 NATO Allied Nations, 4 Partner Nations and the European Union.
For Exercise Cyber Coalition, the planning team prepares a fictitious scenario where a large threat actor tries to compromise a NATO lead mission using the Cyber Domain, compelling participants to work together and coordinate with one another in order to be successful. These types of exercises provide participants the opportunity to collaborate with NATO Allies in a realistic cyberspace scenario.
Participation in Exercise Cyber Coalition aligns with many initiatives in Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, including initiative #65 on improving information operations and cyber capabilities.
If you are interested in learning more about Exercise Cyber Coalition, visit The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and NATO websites.
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