Establishment of the National Cybersecurity Competence Centre in Latvia

Regulation 2021/887 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2021 established the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre, commonly known as the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC).

The overall objective of the ECCC is to promote research, innovation and deployment in the field of cybersecurity by supporting the European Union (EU) Cybersecurity Competence Community, which will be composed of public administrations and individuals in accordance with the procedures set out in the Regulation.

Each EU Member State was tasked with setting up its National Coordination Centre (NCC) to identify the national cybersecurity competence community, to inform the community about the possibilities for EU co-financing of cybersecurity-related projects, and to coordinate and monitor the projects of community actors co-financed with the support of financial instruments managed by the ECCC.

The core tasks of the Latvian NCC, for which the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia is responsible, are:

  • strengthen the EU’s leadership and strategic autonomy in cybersecurity by preserving and developing the research, academic, social, technological and industrial cybersecurity capabilities and capabilities necessary to strengthen trust and security in the Digital Single Market, including confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of data;
  • support the EU’s technological capabilities, capabilities and skills in relation to the resilience and reliability of network and information systems infrastructure, including critical infrastructure and widely used hardware and software in the EU;
  • contribute to the global competitiveness of the EU cybersecurity industry, ensure high cybersecurity standards across the EU and make cybersecurity a competitive advantage for other EU industries.

Latvian National Cybersecurity Competence Community

In early 2023, the Centre established the National Cybersecurity Community, which already brings together more than 30 member organisations from the state, local government, academia, NGOs and the business sector.

A public authority or body, a derived public person or a legal person governed by private law registered in the Republic of Latvia or a partnership with legal capacity that is able to contribute to the core mission of the ECCC and NCC network and which has cybersecurity expertise in at least one of the following areas may become a member of the Community:

  • academic issues;
  • research or innovation, industrial or product development;
  • training and education;
  • information security or incident response operations;
  • ethics,
  • formal and technical standardisation and specifications.

Community expert meetings are regularly set up, during which topicalities in the field of cybersecurity policy are discussed, future plans for community integration and development are discussed.

On 24 October, the community gathers key stakeholders, including representatives from the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Education and Science, the National Education Content Centre, the Central Finance and Contracts Agency, the Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association, the Latvian State Radio and Television Centre, ISACA Latvian Section, Riga Technical University, Bank University, Vidzeme School, etc. to discuss key issues on cybersecurity education, training, skills and competence building.

European Cybersecurity Month

In parallel to community activities, the NCC-LV in Latvia also organises events and events in the framework of the European Cyber Security Month, a motto “I smarter than hacker!” this year, with a special focus on the threat of social engineering. The campaign focuses on society as a whole and aims to communicate the different methods of cybercrimes, the types of attacks and the steps to protect themselves. The campaign also aims to reach out and encourage people to be vigilant and focus more on their online activities in order not to be a victim of phishing and social engineering cyberattacks.

More information on the latest developments in the European Cybersecurity Month in Latvia is available in the information material prepared by NCC-LV.