With the current situation in Ukraine, and Russian hackers’ penchant for escalating minor and major disputes and conflicts their nation has with neighbouring countries into the cyber realm, it’s no wonder that Latvia has launched a Cyber Defence Unit.
According to Deutsche Welle, the newly established unit is part of the voluntary military organization National Guard of Latvia, and currently consists of 13 cyber security experts drawn from both the private and public sector.
These are people that work for their own or third-party companies, and some of them are still students, but in the case of a cyber attack against Latvia’s infrastructure, they are ready collaborate with Latvia’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CERT.LV).
The latter operates under the country’s Ministry of Defense, and can get help from over 600 IT experts working from the government – both at the national and local level. Nevertheless, this team is not capable of responding to a cyber attack aimed at the country’s infrastructure and government systems.
“People who apply to join the Cyber Defence Unit are checked before they get clearance for classified information.And that’s why we are able to involve the cyber guards in cases where very sensitive information is involved,” commented Baiba Ka??kina, the head of CERT.LV.
The members of the Cyber Defence Unit train together as any other army, and their training consists of cyberwar games and exercises.
The plan is to expand the unit to 100 guards in the next couple of years, and to create a similar team consisting only of teenagers, which seems a good way to grow the unit organically.