Official talks up cyber-defense ability

The Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, took part in the annual Security Policy Summit organised by Friends of Europe, a Brussels-based think-tank November 28, and used the opportunity to talk up Latvia's ability to defend itself against Russian "hybrid threats and cyber attacks". 

In her remarks at the event reported by the ministry, Kalniņa-Lukaševica said:

“When I think about the security situation and look eastwards, I have to think about hybrid threats and cyber-attacks immediately. Cyber-attacks are becoming more complex and frequent with a wider “surface” of their impact.”

The Parliamentary Secretary noted that cyber-attacks are also increasingly used for political goals, which highlights cyber security as an acute issue for countries and societies.  

The Parliamentary Secretary drew the participants’ attention to combinations of different means of influence, including cyber-attacks, disinformation warfare, hybrid threats that were witnessed in Ukraine and are also evident in Europe today. Russia’s use of hybrid methods creates insecurity and unpredictability in Europe and beyond, she said.

Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica pointed out that the Baltic States have been experiencing politically motivated cyber-attacks on government networks and mass media for a long time and illustrated her point with data from CERT.LV reports showing that approximately 60,000 cyber incidents including 3,000 high-priority incident were registered in Latvia in 2016.

According to the estimates of CERT.LV, around 600 cyber-attacks last year were politically motivated.  

“Latvia and Estonia are at the forefront of developing effective cyber-defence capabilities and boosting resilience against cyber-attacks. As the result we have created one of the best cyber-security systems worldwide,” said the Parliamentary Secretary. 

“The Baltic States, through their experience in the long term, have developed high-level awareness of hybrid threats. Awareness rising is the key in countering hybrid threats, and we actively engage with private sector and society, by informing, explaining and teaching about safety and security in cyber space,” the Parliamentary Secretary said.   

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