This Tuesday saw the opening of the country’s National Security Centre in Brno. The new headquarters, sited in a former army building and operated by the National Security Authority, is tasked with gathering information and preventing possible cybernetic attacks against state institutions and offices, even utilities.
Czech Radio spoke to the head of the new centre, Vladimír Rohel, asking about some of the tasks at hand.
“It is our job to learn as much as we can about cybernetic attacks, to prevent them and – if we can’t – to minimize the damage… We are here to prevent attacks against state institutions including various bureaux, hospitals, gas or water utilities... and in effect, we come in where regular anti-viral protection ends.”
Asked about current threats, the head of the centre Vladimir Rohel stated some of the biggest threats continued to be unidentified emails, aimed at installing subversive malware. Although users today are considerably savvy in filtering suspicious material, threats remain. Vladimír Rohel again:
“At the moment we are seeing a wave of very sophisticated emails which aim to install a malicious code which takes over your computer so you are no longer fully in control. They can be difficult to trace. You have to be cautious: if you receive something unexpected from your ‘bank’ but know that your bank communicates in a different manner, certainly don’t open the mail, don’t open any attachments, don’t allow any suspicious security software to run.”
The new centre at a former Czech Army building should, above all, allow IT specialists at the National Security Authority better focus as a whole on potential threats and to test software and suspicious code as well as defences. The running, presumably, will be smoother under one roof; Vladimír Rohel describes some of the advantages on site.
“The new centre should make our work easier: until now we had offices which were lent from the University of Defence: now we are in in our own building and can focus on what we have to do. There is an excellent server, a lab for testing codes as well as for defence weaknesses, the necessary audio-visual technology, and much more.”