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President familiarised with Kaunas unit of the National Cyber Security Centre

“We have one of the strongest cyber security centres worldwide, however the cyber-related challenges are growing, therefore it is vital to keep going and set ambitious goals for ourselves,” President of the Republic of Lithuania HE Gitanas Nausėda said after paying a visit to the Unit of the National Cyber Security Centre in Kaunas on January 7. President was briefed on the activities of Centre, cybersecurity challenges, cyber-instruments, and discussed cybersecurity issues, he was accompanied by Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis at the visit to Kaunas.

“The most important value of the Centre are its human resources and the patriotic flame to contribute to the security and welfare of the homeland,” said Vice Minister of National Defence Edvinas Kerza who also took part in the visit. According to the official, the successful consolidation of cybersecurity capabilities, development of public-private sector cooperation, and focus on innovation helped ensuring a more efficient protection and, most importantly, resilience to cyber-attacks. Vice Minister also presented to the guests progress made on the Permanent Structured Cooperation project on forming cyber rapid response teams. He said focus on developing international cooperation with the European Union and partners was increasing.

The visit to Kaunas also addressed issues of protecting critical infrastructure. The current cyber-attack detection tools warn about an attack when it is ongoing or afterwards, they lack in capacity to identify the new, “intelligent” attacks. Early detection sensors designed at the National Cyber Security Centre to solve the issue were presented, such sensors allow detecting cyber-attacks in early stages before harm is caused. It is achieved by using Artificial Intelligence capabilities based on neuron network models created by the Centre in the sensors.

“Hardware-based parallel computing is used for detecting cyber-attacks in order to ensure efficient and fluent work of the sensors. This method allows to use the computing resources in a more efficient manner, increases the speed of attack detection significantly, and reduces equipment costs,” Director of the National Cyber Security Centre Dr Rytis Rainys says.

International partners are also interested in the technology developed by the National Cyber Security Centre. Critical infrastructure comprises IT systems managers of state and private energy, finance systems transport, communication, and other sectors.

President was briefed on the cyber-security research carried out, methods of analysis created at the Centre and the achieved results, as well as prospects of application, were discussed. Software and hardware research carried out by the Centre experts allow to detect cyber security shortfalls in devices or software that are invisible to standard means. Other topics discussed were research on mobile apps, application software, complex communication equipment presented to the public earlier. The said work was done in a multi-profile analysis medium constructed by the Centre experts that allows to analyse factual parameters and characteristics defining software and hardware condition in an integrated way. Also, further prospects of ongoing research, product design and development were addressed.

The guests familiarised with the planned methods of ensuring cyber security during the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania elections in 2020. A new cybersecurity tool designed and produced by the National Cyber Security Centre, a more secure USB drive with a specialised VRKIS operational system composed for the elections, was presented. The finalised product will enable electoral district commissions to transfer data to servers of the Central Electoral Commission safely and reliably in real time. Original security solutions and specialised components that prevent unsanctioned USB drive modification have been used in the product. A double encryption system, software cyphering tied to hardware cyphering capabilities, used in the device ensures data security. The technology makes a potential interception of data particularly hard and ensures data protection even if decoding is attempted at a specialised lab. The product is currently put to a variety of tests in preparation for employment for the oncoming elections.

The international unit of the National Cyber Security Centre in Kaunas is an important element of cybersecurity in practical international cooperation. It provides a foundation for Lithuanian and partner countries’ experts to do operational level work with an aim to concert efficient ways of mutual fight against cyber threats. The unit is planned to reach full operational capability in 2021, it is staffed by Ukrainian and Georgian personnel aside from Lithuanians and Americans.

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