The first multinational rotation of the cyber rapid response teams (CRRTs) led by Lithuania entered standby as of early 2020.
The multilateral cyber rapid response team includes 6–8 cybersecurity experts from Lithuania, Poland, Netherlands, and Romania. At the moment the main focus is assistance to member states that are part of the PESCO Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CRRTs) and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security project. The scope of the CRRT activity is planned to be expanded in the future to include response to cyber-attacks on EU institutions, EU Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations. CRRTs could also take preventive actions and carry out cyber-vulnerability assessments. That will allow the multinational CRRTs to prevent ineffective use of states’ and institutions’ resources in the process of managing cyber threats.
A Memorandum, of Understanding is currently drafted and coordinated in order to achieve a smooth operation of CRRTs. The document will lay legal foundations for operation in different jurisdictions and ensure precision of implementation of the projection.
A variety of different qualification improvement, procedural, legal and technical means are needed for full force functioning of the teams. To that end, the multinational CRRT including cybersecurity experts from Lithuania, Poland, Netherlands, and Romania, trained for the first time together at Exercise Amber Mist 2019 in Lithuania in November 2019. Another two exercises and training events have been planned for the CRRT for this year.
“What teamwork requires most is excellent skills and expertise of team-members, great communication, and well-defined functions. On the other hand, we shouldn’t forget the ability to work in complicated situations,” head of the first multinational CRRT Deividas Stumbras said. According to him, formation of a team, especially when its members come from different countries and bring different abilities and practices, requires a common set of rules and procedures. Therefore, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will continue being developed and then agreed to by all parties to the project and cybersecurity experts in the team.
The multinational cyber rapid response teams is another step in the development of the Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CRRTs) and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security project development in the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).
The Lithuanian-proposed initiative on creation of joint EU CRRTs and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security project is one of the 47 projects approved under the Council of the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework. The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is an instrument laid out in the Treaty of Lisbon, for deepening the cooperation in security and defence area for those EU member states that have military capabilities meeting higher criteria and are bound by greater commitments.
Ministry of National Defense Republic of Lithuania