Introduction new GFCE members Latvia & IBM

Latvia and IBM are the two latest members of the GFCE, bringing the total membership to 50. Focal points of both new member organizations Ieva Kupce and Martin Borrett introduce themselves.

Interview Ieva Ilves, Head of National Cyber Security Policy Coordination Section in Latvia

Ms Ieva Ilves

Could you give an introduction on Latvia’s cyber policy agenda?

Information and communication technologies, including the Internet, are an integral part of Latvia’s development processes. 80% of Latvians use various internet technologies regularly and Latvia has occupied a stable top 5 position in the global rankings for the average internet speed for many years. Latvia actively promotes the principles of “digital by default” and “secure by design” across the public and private sector, while national cyber policy is guided by the principles of openness, cooperation, responsibility, and development.

Why did Latvia decide to become part of the GFCE? And what does Latvia hope to benefit from membership?

During the Latvian Presidency at the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2015, one of Latvia’s priorities was digital agenda and cyber security. Among many important topics Latvia also initiated a discussion on Responsible Disclosure policy (RDP) promoting it as a useful tool to raise the level of cyber security, while at the same time we committed to implement this policy at the national level. We see GFCE as a medium to increase our expertise as well as share our experience and lessons learned implementing RDP into practice as well as advancing digital development and cyber security through other initiatives.

What kind of cyber expertise does Latvia have to offer to other GFCE members/partners?

In Latvia we have established a number of successful projects and initiatives to advance cyber security. In 2013 Latvia established a voluntary cyber guards unit within the National Guard to draw in knowledge and skills from the private sector. It is not only an opportunity for the state to increase its capacity in case of significant cyber incidents, but also a platform for aspiring professionals to gain access to new fields of knowledge. To reach out also for the young talents and acknowledging the fact that young people have natural advantage towards information technologies, starting from 2016 we are launching the cyber youth guard movement. A Number of initiatives has been implemented in raising awareness like “Trusted ISP” certificate.

Do you already have an idea about cyber capacity building initiatives that Latvia would like to develop with other GFCE members?

Latvia would be most interested to contribute to initiatives related to:

  • The promotion and implementation of the Responsible Disclosure Policies;
  • Cyber security and cyber security education, especially focusing on young generation;
  • The maximizing cooperation between public and private sector.

Interview Martin Borrett, IBM Distinguished Engineer and the CTO IBM Security Europe

Martin Borrett

Could you give an introduction on IBM’s activities when it comes to cyber capacity building?

IBM is moving toward a more open approach for security. IBM is doing several things to promote security industry collaboration in order to combat this new era of cybercrime. The opening of its security analytics platform is the second major step IBM has taken this year to advance industry collaboration and innovation to battle highly organized cybercrime. Sharing information on security threats is crucial, but we also need to collaborate on the security tools we’re using to protect against them. IBM believes that more open collaboration is critical for the evolution of security technology, and we’re taking major steps to lead the charge. In a nutshell, what we’re doing will allow the broader security community to easily create and share apps based on IBM security technologies.

Why did IBM decide to become part of the GFCE? And what does IBM hope to benefit from membership?

IBM is interested to be a member of this organization as part of our strategy to more actively participate and contribute to public bodies involved with cybersecurity. We wish to play an active role in the public debate around cybersecurity, to interact with government, academia and industry in the domain of cybersecurity.

What kind of cyber expertise does IBM have to offer to other GFCE members/partners?

IBM Security has 10,000 clients in 133 countries, 6,000 researchers, developers, and subject matter experts focused on security, 3,700 security related patents, and 36 IBM Security locations across the globe. Hackers are sharing tools and data with each other, but security teams are trying to fight back on their own. IBM opened up its security data with X-Force Exchange, and now we’re taking the next step by opening our security technology. With the X-Force Exchange we made it easy to share threat intelligence, with the IBM Security App Exchange we’re now letting teams share their expertise.

Do you already have an idea about cyber capacity building initiatives that IBM would like to develop with other GFCE members?

IBM is interested to support those initiatives that involve sharing expertise and information. At this moment we are only considering to participate in the Cyber Security Initiative: Assessing and developing cyber capability.