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Advanced Technologies for Industry

How to improve cyber resilience of SMEs by successfully implementing policy initiatives?

Online event

The European Commission organised the workshop “How to improve cyber resilience of SMEs by successfully implementing policy initiatives?” on the 9th of February 2021.

There is no digital transformation without cybersecurity. Digitisation of SMEs is an important and great challenge: from various evidence it is clear that SMEs are hesitant when it comes to adopting new technologies. Despite market volume or business growth opportunities, most SMEs keep lagging behind. And that is NOT going to help them on the long term. Cyber-risks are threatening business continuity, in two ways. First, continuity of the SME itself since 60% of SMEs that are victims of cyber attacks did not recover and had to shut down within six months. Second, cyber criminals are increasingly looking towards SMEs as a gateway to the supply chain they are part of – and hence also a liability to the larger corporations on that chain.

The crucial question is: how can SMEs be supported to become cyber-proof? What are the key elements of implementing policies successfully and which stakeholders are essential in that process? This seminar provided answers to these questions from good practice experiences in an interactive debate.


9:30 – 9:35

Welcome and introduction

9:35 – 10:00

Cybersecurity policy for SMEs, European Commission.

  • Europe’s Cybersecurity Strategy Martin Ubelhor, DG CONNECT, Head of Sector – Cybersecurity Technology and Capacity Building
  • Capacity building for SMEs Demosthenes Ikonomou, ENISA, Head of Capacity Building
  • Improving resilience through awareness raising about cyber-theft of trade secrets Davide Follador, DG GROW, Unit F3 – Intellectual Property

10:00 – 10:15

ATI project results so far and findings of the ATI Policy Brief 'Cybersecurity: more investment and better skills'

  • Morten Rasmussen, Technopolis Group

10:15 – 11:15

Virtual Roundtable on policy initiatives supporting cybersecurity in SMEs:

  • Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General of ECSO: developing a competitive European cybersecurity ecosystem providing trusted cybersecurity solutions and advancing Europe’s cybersecurity posture and its technological independence
  • Carmel Somers, Board Member at Cyber Irelandand Human Capital Strategist at Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet: public-private partnership to foster a cyber security ecosystem and enhancing the Innovation, Growth and Competitiveness
  • Kim van der Veen, Account Manager at Digital Trust Center, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands & Fokko Dijksterhuis, Project manager CYSSEC at Schiphol Group: increasing cyber resilience in regional and sectoral ecosystems

11:15 – 12:15

How to successfully implement cybersecurity policies? An open discussion.

  • Moderated by Niels van der Linden, Senior Director, Capgemini Invent

12:15 – 12:30



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