It is impossible to imagine a successful cyber security community that does not value collaboration. TF-CSIRT provides a textbook example of individuals from different sectors working together – the members come from academic, governmental and commercial organisations. It is a unique forum where NREN and University computer security teams can collaborate with colleagues from non-academic institutions.

This collaboration goes further than networking during the TF-CSIRT meetings and sharing information with mailing lists. Last week in Stockholm around 30 security experts, majority of whom work at academic institutions, were invited to an OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) training, kindly provided by NRD CS (a commercial team from Lithuania). The training was led by Kazimieras Sadauskas, an OSINT expert with a broad experience in private, government and inter-government organisations, including working as an OSINT analyst for the National Defence Volunteer Forces of Lithuania.

Over 90% of data needed by intelligence communities worldwide can be found in the open sources – assuming one knows what, where and how to look for it. The need for OSINT expertise is continuously growing and, perhaps unexpectedly for some, even the NREN security officers can use open sources, such as social media, to gather information needed to complete a ‘puzzle’. Sharing real life examples of his experience of working in the military, Kazimieras explained how pieces of information available to anyone online can be put together and become a valuable classified intelligence source. He then demonstrated the tools that can be used to perform the searches in order to achieve the required result.

The training was highly valued by the attendees as a chance to look at security from a different angle and get inspired to use some of the methods and tools in their daily jobs. The importance of events of this type is proven by the long participation waiting list – a second room of the same size could have easily been filled up. Clearly, security related trainings are a necessity and TF-CSIRT is an exemplary community where interdisciplinary knowledge exchange can be made possible when academic, governmental and commercial teams collaborate.

The TF-CSIRT community would like to thank NRD CS for the training.
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