This week, October 8-12, cybersecurity and defence exercises Cyber Shield 2018 and Amber Mist 2018 running in Lithuania are providing a joint training opportunity for representative of the public and private sectors, Lithuanian Armed Forces, and NATO allies.
“The situation in cyberspace has begun to change apace in the recent years. Cyber-attacks have become a new, modern and dangerous weapon, capable of paralysing operation not only of separate agencies, manufacturers, businesses, transport, communication, power and water suppliers, but also of armed state defence,” Vice Minister of National Defence Edvinas Kerza said.
The exercises held concurrently by the National Cyber Security Centre under the MoD and the Lithuanian Armed Forces involve different tasks, yet focus on coordination and maximally efficient decisions of all training entities to achieve a stronger cybersecurity and defence of Lithuania.
Exercise Cyber Shield 2018 held by the National Cyber Security Centre focusses on state-level preparedness for cyber threats and tests procedures of National Cyber-incident Management Plan. This year it involves roughly 140 representatives of over 30 agencies and enterprises of Lithuania’s private and public sectors that manage the country’s information resources or critical infrastructure.
Exercise Amber Mist 2018 held by the Lithuanian Armed Forces will provide a concrete scenario for participants to train completing cyber defence tasks with an emphasis on training military cyber capabilities. The exercise will involve participants from the Communications and Information Systems Command of the Defence Staff, Network Management and Cyber Defence Modules of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Headquarters Battalion manned by professional military service and active reserve soldiers, cyber-incident response teams of Vilnius University and Lithuanian Railway JSC.
This year both exercises have become international: Exercise Cyber Shield 2018 will include the team working on the cyber response capabilities project initiated by Lithuania in the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework, and Amber Mist 2018 – a joint cyber-incident response team formed by the US Pennsylvania National Guard and the US Air Force cyber defence component.
Teams training in both exercises will participate both, from exercises sites in Vilnius and Kaunas, and remotely – from their agencies and enterprises.
For the third consecutive year the exercises cooperate closely with Lithuania’s education institutions: Kaunas University of Technology and Vilnius University are providing virtual informational and other infrastructure for training. The Lithuanian Armed Forces signed a cooperation agreement with Vilnius University in September 2018.