This article was originally published on Focus on Business
Author: Milda Miliūnė, a Senior Investment Advisor for Business services & ICT at Invest Lithuania
The need for online safety is more pressing than ever. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have been spending more time online, enjoying various work-from-home arrangements, and carrying out daily tasks like banking and shopping. But as our reliance on digital connectivity grows, so does our exposure to cyber threats.
This has not only made cybersecurity one of the fastest-growing markets within the technology sector, but also put it high on the agenda of both governments and businesses. Lithuania is no exception: the ever-present need to protect critical infrastructure, business environment, and citizens from online attacks has led the country to strengthen its national cybersecurity capabilities. Meanwhile, multiple Global Business Services & ICT centers in Lithuania have added cybersecurity to the list of sophisticated functions they deliver to their global organizations.
Lithuania is well prepared to deal with the increasing risk of cyber-attacks. Focused purely on preventing and managing cyber incidents, the country’s National Cyber Security Centre has a network connecting the most critical infrastructure operators via a set of automated procedures. This guarantees a 30-minute threat neutralization window. As proof of the country’s cybersecurity expertise, Lithuania has also initiated and currently coordinates the EU Cyber Rapid Response force, supporting the bloc and its partners against cyber-attacks.
With cyber high on its security priorities, it is no wonder that Lithuania holds top positions in international cybersecurity rankings. Currently, the country ranks 2nd globally in the National Cyber Security Index, which measures the preparedness of countries to prevent cyber threats and manage cyber incidents, and 6th in the ITU’s Global Cyber Security Index. Moreover, the latest edition of Surfshark’s Digital Quality of Life Index has ranked Lithuania 2nd globally in terms of e-security, noting the country’s readiness to counter cybercrimes and its commitment to protecting online privacy.
Lithuania’s cybersecurity leadership goes beyond country-level preparedness. Lithuania’s Global Business Services & ICT operations have been gradually climbing the value chain for the past decade, with ever more sophisticated functions appearing on the roster. Spurred by the ever-growing demand for online security, global businesses choose Lithuania to conduct not only ICT, but also cybersecurity operations. In fact, 29% of Lithuania’s Global Business Services & ICT centers count cybersecurity among functions performed.
Why is Lithuania a perfect home for cybersecurity teams? Here, global companies find a 61,700-strong ICT talent pool with competencies to develop robust solutions in next-gen areas such as Intelligent Process Automation, AI, and, of course, cybersecurity. Besides smart and flexible talent, Lithuania also offers EU-leading connectivity and internet speeds, providing the reliable infrastructure that best-in-class cybersecurity services need.
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Among the recent cybersecurity success stories in Lithuania’s Global Business Services & ICT sector is Cencora, previously known as AmerisourceBergen. A leading global pharmaceutical solutions provider, the company first entered Lithuania in 2017, and currently employs over 400 specialists in its Global Business Services center in Vilnius. Last year, Cencora announced plans to expand its Lithuanian team to 700 employees over the next five years.
Due to the company’s rapid growth in Europe, cybersecurity is a highly important function, instrumental in ensuring the stability of IT services and the security of Cencora’s employee, client, and customer data at any given time. That is why Cencora established a cybersecurity team in Lithuania in November 2021. At the time, its primary focus was building a cyber defense foundation for the company’s most recent acquisition – Alliance Healthcare – and establishing security processes aligned across all European markets.
Today, the European wing of Cencora‘s cyber defense operations consists of 5 experienced specialists. The company’s cybersecurity team works primarily during standard European working hours and covers all of Cencora‘s business units and affiliates regardless of location. Among the functions they cover are cybersecurity operations and incident response, threat hunting, digital forensics, and cyber threat intelligence. The team has also recently established Cencora’s first digital forensics lab in Europe to collect, examine, analyze, and report digital evidence.
Nasdaq, Moody’s, and Oracle are among some other well-known global names that chose Lithuania for cyber security product development. Oracle, for instance, acquired Lithuanian cyber security startup Zenedge in 2018, turning it into an engineering division working on the company’s strategic cloud security solutions.
The Oracle office in Kaunas – one of the two in Lithuania – is building a next-generation cloud platform that supports mission-critical customer requirements and provides a secure cloud environment globally. Part and parcel of Oracle’s cloud solutions is a cloud-native cybersecurity service (Web Application Firewall) that protects applications from malicious bots and unwanted internet traffic.
As Lithuania’s Global Business Services & ICT sector continues to grow in scope and maturity, our latest industry survey shows that 61% of centers are planning to introduce new or significantly expand existing functions over 2023. With the level of cyber threats rising, it is no surprise that cybersecurity is among the top additions, so we can expect to see more cybersecurity success stories in Lithuania.
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