Cyber security takes center stage

Latvia's dedicated online security agency, the Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution (CERT.lv) is offering free laptop checks to anyone anxious to get rid of spyware, malware and other nasty things from their hard drive.

On March 29 from 10 am to 4 pm, CERT.lv's team of specialists are opening their doors at Raiņa bulvāris 29, Rīga to members of the public.

Experts will be on hand to run diagnostics and flush out viruses. iPhones and tablet computers can also be checked, a news release from the agency says.

However, before paying them a visit, the good-guy geeks are recommending that you visit the website www.esidross.lv to see if your computer's IP address is on CERT.lv's infected list. If it is indeed infected, the screen will appear red. 

CERT.lv's mission is to promote information technology security in Latvia. It operates under the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia and is regulated by the Information Technology Security Law.

It provides rolling updates on IT security threats, provides support in the case of IT security incident, advises governmental institutions, and organizes informative and educational activities for government employees, IT security professionals and the general public.

The laptop checks are free of charge.

In a separate move Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis and the Latvian Information and Communications Technology Association (LIKTA) President Signe Bāliņa on March 28 signed an agreement on cooperation in cyber security issues. 

The cooperation agreement provides for the exchange of information and consultation on cyber security policy issues and initiatives and other forms of cooperation between the private and public sectors.

Based on this agreement, the Ministry of Defense plans to encourage community representatives with expertise in information technology to find and report on open information system security weaknesses of Latvian companies and private institutional information systems.

March 28 has been designated "Digital Security Day" in Latvia.

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