The most anticipated cybersecurity event in the Baltics – the CyberChess 2023 conference – has just finished


Celebrating the choice to be a cyberspace advocate and at the same time thinking about improving professional capabilities and skills – this could describe the mood on 4 and 5 October, when the international cybersecurity conference CyberChess 2023 took place in Riga for the tenth time during European Cybersecurity Month. The motto of this year’s European Cybersecurity Month was “Be smarter than a hacker!”, and while cybersecurity applies to every institution and individual personally, one person or expert cannot know everything. Therefore, the participants were given the opportunity to hear from world and Baltic cybersecurity professionals in one place, as well as to interact with each other in an informal atmosphere, in order to add to their knowledge and create new and common ideas in the field of cybersecurity. This year’s conference brought together more than 500 participants and experts from 18 different countries, while the live webcast attracted at least 6000 views from 39 countries. To maximise existing horizons, the programme featured more than 60 keynote speeches and panel discussions by local and international experts in three sessions – strategic-political, technical and domain names.

“When thinking about the content of the conference, one of the objectives was to highlight the importance of cooperation between public and private sector institutions, as well as cooperation between members of the international CERT community,” said Baiba Kaškina, Head of CERT.LV.

The strategic-political session covered topics such as: aspects of DNS security, EU cybersecurity initiatives, the maturity of the cybersecurity sector, strengthening it through public and private cooperation in building cybersecurity competencies, as well as securing Latvia’s digital tomorrow by thinking about protecting infrastructure through cybersecurity services for public authorities and local businesses, as discussed by Dmitrijs Ņikitins from SIA “Tet”.

On the second day of the conference, Mārtiņš Kaļķis, Head of the Cyber Security Division at SIA “Latvijas Mobilais Telefons”, also gave a fascinating speech about the first commercial company’s National Guard sub-unit, which is a unique case in Latvia. The event also focused on the limits of artificial intelligence in information warfare: protecting democracy and strengthening StratCom in a multilingual environment, cyber threat intelligence, and research and technical analysis of the large-scale cyber-attack in Ukraine.

The technical session covered topics such as: machine learning-based Android malware detection and troubleshooting, malware analysis, risk identification in industrial and automation control system networks, anomaly detection in streaming, and others.

The session on domain names focused more on panel discussions, as it is an excellent way for representatives from domain name registries in the three Baltic states (LT, EE and LV) to exchange experiences and ideas on the following topics: DNS security in the Baltics, top-level domain management in wartime, cooperation between the domain industry and CERTs, the role of digital waste – its value on the secondary market and how to manage it properly to prevent it from being used in cyber-attacks, the impact of the EU NIS 2 Directive on DNS security, as well as future forecasts for the domain industry.

In parallel to CyberChess 2023, the fourth annual Capture The Flag (CTF) online cybersecurity competition took place, allowing participants to face a variety of cybersecurity challenges in categories such as cryptography, network analysis, forensics, binary code and more.


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The conference was organised by CERT.LV, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia and the .lv TLD registry maintainer (NIC) in cooperation with the ISACA Latvian Chapter, the Latvian Internet Association and the .ee and .lt TLD registry maintainers.

The conference was co-financed by the European Union and supported by the Latvian National Coordination Centre of the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (NCC-LV), ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), SIA “Latvijas Mobilais telefons”, SIA “Tet”, VAS “Latvijas Valsts radio un televīzijas centrs”, SIA “Cyber Circle”, CSC Corporate Domain, SANS Institute, CLICO Baltic, Recorded Future, Synergy Consulting and CentralNic Registry.