News2019.10.24 17:30

Key government cyber security projects stalling – LRT Investigation

Several key government projects, meant to protect state institutions from cyber threats, have been stalling, LRT Investigation Team reports. Not only does mismanagement lead to wasted funds, but also poses a threat to national security.

Several weeks ago, over twenty agencies staged a large-scale three-day drill to check how the Lithuanian government was ready to respond to a hypothetical accident at Belarus' Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant. The drill involved firefighters, border guards, doctors, municipal employees and many more.

In all, 444 institutions have responsibility to respond to natural and man-made disasters, military mobilisation, war and other extreme situations. In order to be able to coordinate their actions and share information, these institutions are to be connected into a secure network.

A secure closed government network would also protect state institutions from cyber attacks. The Ministry of Defence has decided that the network should be built around the state-owned company Infostruktūra, which was transformed into a budgetary institution and renamed the Core State Telecommunications Centre (KVTC).

LRT Investigation Team reports that the KVTC has been without a director for some time now and the project is stalling and is mired with issues.

Due to problems inherited from Infostruktūra, and the funds thrown at the secure network, another strategic government project, a data centre, is stalling as well.

LRT Investigation Team has learned that the government has bought the servers and expensive equipment, worth millions of euros, but has nowhere to put them. The Ministry of Defence was to build premises to install the data centre, but Vice Minister Edvinas Kerza rejects that it is the ministry's responsibility.

Meanwhile, the servers and the equipment is likely to be stored in the basement of the Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre, indefinitely.

Storing expensive equipment amounts to a waste of money, not least because the technology ages very rapidly and may become defunct without ever being used.

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