"Responsible Internet Service Provider" initiative calls for improvements to cybersecurity in Latvia

  • Awareness
  • 20/11/2019
  • Latvian Safer Internet Centre

Information Technology Security Incident Prevention Institution CERT.LV cooperated with the Latvian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) and Internet service providers (ISP) to raise awareness of the initiative "Responsible Internet Service Provider", aiming to increase Latvia's cybersecurity capacities and to improve cooperation in the notice and takedown of illegal content online.

According to recent statistics from CERT.LV, out of 100,000 vulnerable unique IP addresses, 59 per cent are caused by improperly configured equipment. In 8 per cent of the cases, the presence of malware was detected in the hardware. Every IP address has an end user – a private individual or legal entity, who is probably unaware of the problems in their equipment. CERT.LV and the Latvian SIC call on ISPs to become part of the "Responsible Internet Service Provider" initiative and contribute to better informing their customers, the end users, about this issue. ISPs part of the initiative are also asked to respond to reports from the Latvian SIC about illegal online content hosted on these ISP's servers by preventing the offence and deleting the illegal content.

Baiba Kaškina, head of CERT.LV, explains: "By joining the ‘Responsible ISP' initiative, an ISP commits to informing the end user about the threat and its capacity to help solve or prevent the problem within their capabilities. It is clear that an ISP's limited resources poses a challenge, yet, if we think about the future and work on the possibility of informing end users, the clients' demand for additional security will only grow and both ISPs and every internet users in Latvia will benefit from it."

Maija Katkovska, head of the Latvian SIC, emphasised: "In 2019, the hotline of Latvian SIC received 2,648 reports of materials containing depictions of sexual abuse of children, that are available for everybody on the internet to see. To adequately prevent the (re-)circulation of such illegal content on the web, it is very important that users report it to us. As for the industry, it has the duty to remove such materials from public access. There is a common myth that the public cannot do anything in such cases. But it is not true – in case of illegal content and activities, in cooperation with the state police, Europol, Interpol, members of the INHOPE Association and ISPs, it is possible to remove illegal content from the public access, and also to find the offenders and the victims. With this initiative, we aim to call on every responsible company to engage in combatting the circulation of child sexual abuse material (CSAM)."

On Thursday, 31 October 2019, CERT.LV, the Latvian Internet Association and the Latvian SIC jointly organised a seminar for ISP representatives to emphasise the importance of cooperation and to invite them to join the "Responsible  Internet Service Provider" initiative.

You can find the list of ISPs that have already joined the initiative on the website of CERT. The Latvian SIC also cooperates with other companies that are, in most cases, interested in making the Latvian online space safer for the public. IT companies have an important role in improving the overall cybersecurity situation in Latvia. The Latvian SIC therefore hopes that every ISP considering itself a fair entrepreneur will join the initiative.

Find out more information about the work of the Latvian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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