Latvia and Canada join forces in a national information and communication technology threat hunting operation
CERT.LV, the Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution of Latvia, and Canadian cyber protection experts have successfully implemented a threat hunting operation to assess the integrity of national information and communication networks.
CERT.LV and Canadian cyber security experts carried out joint real-time Threat Hunting Operations on real infrastructure instead of on simulated environments to enhance collaboration and interoperability, and test and develop the existing skill set. Joint teams tested and developed the existing procedures, as well as identifying and eliminating technical and coordination ‘bottlenecks’, thus enhancing cyber protection capacity on both sides.
Joint operation was a unique opportunity to test incident response procedures between two NATO Allies in real environment. Operations of this kind also improve technical and political interoperability of partners in the area of cyber security.
‘Countries and people are nowadays exposed to threats that go well beyond military risks. Cyber-attacks and information warfare are becoming more common and we need to constantly address cyber security risks both in military and general government sectors. Strengthening of cyber security, including incident response capabilities, will be our future priority that we will address in the next National Cyber Security Strategy for 2023-2026. It will be based on most recent cyber security trends,’ Defence Minister Artis Pabriks stressed.
Latvia highly values the close partnership and training with Canada, which helps Latvia enhance its analytical capacity. Close cyber security cooperation between the two nations has been ongoing since 2018. It is supported through the joint participation in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCDCOE) exercise Locked Shields since 2018 when Latvian team, comprised of CERT.LV and National Guard Cyber Defence Unit, and Canadian Armed Force experts jointly engaged in real-time network security operations tabletop exercise for the first time.
Cooperation in the area of cyber-security is only one example of the excellent relationship shared between our nations, as Canada has been leading NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group in Latvia since 2017. Battle group is comprised of around 1,700 troops from 10 Allied countries: Canada, Albania, Czech Republic, Iceland, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and Slovakia. eFP forces and National Armed Forces conduct routine exercise to enhance the interoperability between Allies in the region and test the security threat response procedures.
Canada and Latvia have developed close bond over the years. Canada was the first G7 country to recognise independence of Latvia in 1991. Canada was also one of the first NATO countries to ratify Latvia’s membership in 2004.
Information Technology Security Incident Response Institution of Latvia, CERT.LV, operates under the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia. Its mission is to promote information technology (IT) security in Latvia.
CERT.LV main tasks are to maintain and update information on IT security threats, provide support to government sector in field of IT security, as well as help private and legal entities operating Latvian IP addresses or .lv domain names deal with cyber security incidents.