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Private and public sectors of Lithuania training to manage cyber incidents for the fourth time

On October 22–24 national cybersecurity and defence Exercise Cyber Shield 2019 takes place in Lithuania. The exercise convenes specialists from the public and the private sectors to train together. The 4th iteration of the exercise also for the first time includes media representatives in order to strengthen cybersecurity of news organisations.

“Exercise Cyber Shield 2019 gives the participating organisations an opportunity to test the effectiveness of their cyber incident management plans and helps to see the need and use of such plans for those organisations that don’t have them yet,” Vice Minister of National Defence Edvinas Kerza says. He underscores the similarity between cyber incident management and first medical aid. “You will probably be short on time, under pressure from you leadership, and stress when neutralising causes or consequences of cyber incidents. Therefore an organisation must have a prepared and pre-tested cyber incident management plan which would minimise the risk of failures in the real-life situation,” Vice Minister says.

Exercise Cyber Shield 2019 co-organised by the National Cyber Security Centre under the Ministry of National Defence and Kaunas University of Technology focusses on coordination of actions of all participants and on maximal effectiveness of solutions in order to strengthen the cyber security and defence of Lithuania. The exercise will also test and train the participants’ ability to manage cyber incidents and provide conditions for organisations to check their internal procedures for cyber incident management.

“This exercise helps to strengthen the network of cybersecurity experts in Lithuania, provides a platform for sharing experience and insights. Relations and network of contacts established in daily activities, and even more so – in an incident or crisis, become especially important. Quite often it helps to understand the scope of an incident more quickly and to manage it more effectively,” Director of the National Cyber Security Centre Dr Rytis Rainys says.

Exercise Cyber Shield 2019 trains responding to attacks and cyber incidents the National Cyber Security Centre responds to on a daily basis. “This exercise allows us to transfer the experience of one or more organisations in dealing with specific incidents to other organisations. We have worked hard to design relevant and up-to-date exercise scenarios and technologically advanced cyber incidents that allow organisations to learn from their mistakes in a safe environment,” Exercise Director Deividas Stumbras stresses.

This is the first time Exercise Cyber Shield is based on the model of the NATO cybersecurity and defence Exercise Cyber Coalition and its central principle to “train as you fight”. Participating organisations will join the exercise with their actual capabilities, personnel and procedures, no additional personnel units are formed or equipment bought for exercise purposes. Exercise activates are also conducted in the usual quarters of the participating organisations, i.e., the participants train managing cyber incidents with their own usual instruments, adhering to their routine procedures and in their routine work places.

Representatives of news web will be training to manage cyber incidents for the first time too according to a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of National Defence, National Cyber Security Centre and eight news websites (DELFI, 15min., LRT.lt, lrytas.lt, alfa.lt, BNS, Verslo Žinios, ELTA.lt) signed in 2018.

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