Lost in Identity Hackathon to tackle personal data security issues

Cyber attack

Cyber-attacks are committed every 39 seconds worldwide, and a number of the target personal data. Most often, these attacks are blocked, but their number is growing. On 22-25 April, hackathon Lost in Identity will look for ways to protect people’s digital IDs. It will be joined by Lithuania’s biggest start-ups and institutions. 

More than 100 participants from the USA, Germany, and other countries worldwide are expected to attend. Together, they will work on challenges from Rockit, Vinted, TeleSoftas, the Bank of Lithuania, Vilnius City Municipality, Soveris, Vilnius Legal Hackers, and NRD Cyber Security. The challenges addressed will be related to cyber security, e-identity, data cloud, internet of things, as well as biometrics, artificial intelligence, and other areas. Nearly 30 experts from different fields will help participants to generate ideas and solutions.

According to Šarūnė Smalakytė, Head of the Rockit Centre for Financial Technologies and Sustainable Innovations, which is organizing the hackathon, in a rapidly digitalizing world, personal data has become sensitive and vulnerable information.

Šarūnė Smalakytė

For people who have no digital ID, surviving in today’s world is quite tricky. Whereas people used to need such IDs for financial transactions and income declarations only, the field has expanded dramatically during the pandemic to include healthcare, education, and legal affairs. The theft of personal data is a major public concern, and companies providing digital services need to find new ways to better protect customers’ data and avoid errors of their employees,” says Š. Smalakytė. 

According to a recent report by the National Cyber Security Centre, the State Data Protection Inspectorate received 181 reports on personal data breaches last year. Besides, a total of 4,330 cyber incidents were handled in the country, an increase of 25% compared to 2019. The most significant increase was in the number of hacking attempts – it went up 73%. 

International experts note that personal data breaches are on the rise worldwide. For example, the Identity Theft Resource Centre (ITRC) in California reported that in the US, the number of people whose data was compromised increased by 564% in Q1 2021 compared to the previous quarter. That is linked to the increasing use of supply chain attacks by hackers, where a large, data-intensive organization is targeted using the IT systems of its partners.

In response to these issues, the hackathon will challenge its participants.Vinted, Lithuania’s first unicorn startup, will offer two challenges. The first one relates to the collection of information on cyber-attacks – the process of identifying and managing such incidents. To minimize the damage caused by a cyber-attack, it is crucial to discover the possible causes and focus on prevention. Although this is a hot topic, there are no modern solutions yet, so the event participants will try to find new ways to decrease the risks. 

The second task will invite participants to find innovative solutions for processing personal data to reduce the burden of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requirements. For example, many people use smart financial payment security services such as mobile signature daily. This second task will allow participants to see whether a similar solution would also help to protect other personal data and privacy in cyberspace in general.

According to Tomas Martinkėnas, Vinted’s Director of Information Security, the recent data leaks show that it is not enough to protect the information, ensure business continuity and data integrity with the usual and time-tested solutions only. It’s important to adapt to changing business needs and strategies.

Tomas Martinkėnas

“This challenge can be confronted by bringing engineering, law, business, psychology, and other areas together. We see the Lost in Identity cyber security event as a space for connecting diverse people and ideas. It is only through diversity that we will overcome the challenges that have been weighing organizations’ shoulders for years. I think both we and the market are ready for it”, says T. Martinkėnas.

The challenge of IT services company Telesoftas will be to create a solution to make learning about cybersecurity as easy and fun as possible. The software is intended to help every security professional learn and keep up to date.

“The number of cyber-attacks is growing every year, and many companies don’t even notice them. All the solutions that emerge from this hackathon will contribute to cyber security education, and, let’s hope, the best ones will be applied. We are always looking for new ideas to help and benefit people. Data security is a big pain point for many today,” says Algirdas Stonys, director of Telesoftas.

According to Šarūnė Smalakytė, Head of the Rockit Centre, the challenges raised by the partners will help to understand better the critical cyber security issues that exist today.

“Cyber security is at the center of attention in the current trend forecasts. This hackathon will be an opportunity to bring together people from different backgrounds and organizations to try to develop new and relevant security solutions. Together, we will grow Lithuania’s fintech community, foster the creation of innovations and improve the ecosystem itself. We hope that such events will allow Lithuania to get even higher positions in the global fintech ranking,” says Š. Smalakytė.

You can find out more about the Lost in Identity hackathon program and all the challenges by clicking here.

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