Estonia-based technology company Guardtime, which invented Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI), a blockchain stack for generating cryptographic metadata at scale, has been awarded a contract by the Estonian Ministry of Defence under the auspices of Nato to design the next generation Nato cyber range.

The new range design will considerably enhance Nato's cyber, electronic warfare and intelligence, test, rehearsal, and mission refinement capabilities and promote tools, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to provide Nato range users with capability and options for blue and red team planning activities, said a statement.

Martin Ruubel, president of Guardtime Estonia said: "When designing and building the defence focused exercise ranges, Guardtime always aims at the principle: we train as we fight. For Nato we will provide a state-of-the-art flexible, operationally relevant and representative environment design that enables integrated simulation and training and collaboration for a wide variety of blue and red team cyber mission exercise areas, enabling Nato cyber range users the ability to securely collaborate and refine their tools and tactics."

Sven Sakkov, director of Nato Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (Nato CCD COE), a Nato-accredited knowledge hub and research institution, said: "The range is a unique platform for cyber defence exercises and trainings. The Centre has based Locked Shields – the world's largest and most advanced international technical network defence exercise – on the Range for close to a decade. The versatility and computing power of the platform allows us to simulate a different complex scenario every year for an increasing number of participants."

Jay Maynard, Director of Guardtime Cyber Range Operations said: "Our work with the Estonian MoD and Nato will make a real difference into how Nato range users will prepare themselves - and prevail - in the face of today's complex cyber threat landscape."

Matthew Johnson, Guardtime CTO added: "State-of-the-art technologies incorporated in the range design supporting the Nato cyber range scenarios are transformative and a means to meet and exceed the requirements for disseminating mission-critical data securely and timely. It's an honor to be able to support Nato and the Estonian MoD in its significant efforts to enhance cyber operational relevance."

Asked what extent the KSI blockchain would play in the Nato tests, Ruubel said in an email: "We can't talk a whole lot about what will be there, but we are a blockchain company at core, and it is highly likely that KSI blockchain will be an important part of it.

Guardtime was founded in Tallinn, Estonia in 2007. The company develops blockchain-based solutions for defence, health-care, cybersecurity and physical supply chains.