Lithuania short of cyber sleuths
Cyber security used to be a rather a narrow topic, interesting only to specialists; yet after terror attacks in France, and the events in Ukraine it has been attracting public attention in Lithuania. Some 81 percent of Lithuanian residents feel a growing risk of being targeted by electronic crimes, according to a recent Eurobarometer survey, and worries have not subsided since the government’s launching of a new Cyber Security Center at the start of the year.
Saulius Skvernelis, Minister of the Interior, certainly sees the importance of Lithuania upping the ante with its cyber security: he sees the right to privacy and personal data protection as becoming as crucial as saving people’s lives. Therefore, Lithuania’s law enforcement has gained more rights to control the electronic sphere and tracing system of passengers is being created.
However, despite the creation of the Cyber Security Investigations board, it is proving much more difficult to find the cyber investigators to fill it, since it is difficult to attract IT specialists to work for a Lithuanian state salary.
At a meeting with business representatives, Skvernelis said that cyber security problems in Lithuania are considerable, and based on the latest data, the situation has been worsening rapidly over the last 12 months. Is the salvation to be found in cooperation with the private sector?
Valdas Sutkus, President of the Lithuanian Business Confederation, believes so, saying the ministry and business have room for cooperation: if the technological potential and human resources of such IT companies as Alna, Microsoft and IBM Lietuva is invoked, many relevant security problems could be tackled, and lagging projects could be implemented. Moreover, business can carry out certain functions of state enterprises cheaper and more effectively. Will it require further private sector cooperation to tackle cyber crime, or is it just a question of shelling out for higher state salaries?