Entrepreneurship in New Reality program – Summary of the 7th webinar

04. 03. 2021

“Everyone should master cyber security basics!”

The Entrepreneurship in the New Reality seventh webinar

On Tuesday, March 2nd, the seventh webinar in Entrepreneurship in the new reality program was held, hosted by Melissa Hathaway from Hathaway Global Strategies (US), Maurice Dawson from Illinois Institute of Technology (US) and Denis Čaleta from GEA College and University of Zagreb (HR). The webinar was moderated by Igor Hostnik from Actual I.T. (SI).

The guests discussed opportunities for the business world on cyber security. The focal point of the debate was to identify opportunities and discuss to what extent society is aware of the need of cyber security since we live in the digital era. We also learnt that companies and organisations should keep minimizing risk, use only current software and hardware products, and take care of backups of their data on a regular basis. During the webinar the guests also received some very interesting and in-depth questions from the attendees.

Entrepreneurship in the New Reality program brings together top local, regional and US experts who, in a series of 10 free moderated webinars, provide the audience with professional know-how and share entrepreneurial experience to encourage entrepreneurs to grow, prosper and find new business methods for the future. The program is organised by GEA College Ljubljana, in cooperation with the Embassy of the United States of America in Slovenia.

How to raise awareness about cyber security?

A total of 205 of the world’s GDP currently belongs to the digital economy. It is evident that the digital world has an enormous amount of potential, but it also presents a big threat. Raising awareness in that field should most certainly become one of the top priorities on governmental level soon. Younger generations are even more vulnerable, since they are usually very eager to share their personal data. So, what approach should leaders take to help society understand the weight of this issue?

Melissa Hathaway: “I believe media and communication channels have to open up and demystify technology and the risks it presents to society. I think it is important that we start to get to the media who say: What is the problem we are dealing with? Whether it’s espionage, intellectual property theft, your personal data etc. The next question they should pose is “so what?” For example, can the corruption of the medical research delay the vaccine? Could the loss of your intellectual property shut out your business? And the last question, is “now what?”. What do we do about it? What are the steps that I need to take to protect my personal data? What are the steps that will help our corporation protect our intellectual property? So, we need to make a step forward and learn what our responsibilities are and deal with them.

What risks are there and what approach should we take for a more secure hyper connected world?

Due to interconnectivity, business continuity and resilience is crucial and it will be even more important with 5G and IoT expansion. Leads to nation level not only business level. The world now is hyperconnected – be it on personal, business, national or international level. And that also opens the door to new risks. Since there are very few players in building that technology, how can we be certain to control it on a national level? The amount of data that can push through 5G is outstanding, but the problem is, how quickly we can lose that data?

When we have those (5G) devices, we need to make sure the control is in place and that the data is encrypted. As people want to be more connected, we want more devices and therefore we are connected to more and more networks, which allows the attacker to find the weakest point in the network easily. So, in terms of business continuity, it is without a doubt very important. If something goes down and your company is cyber resilient, what will happen if you get attacked? Are you out for a week? A month? Well, you need a good recovery plan!” said Maurice Dawson.

How security in public services and the private business sector differ?

We need to understand that we are in the same boat – be it private or public sector. Both would benefit from the highest possible level of national cyber security, which needs a systematic and comprehensive approach in both sectors. Critical infrastructure should involve all sides in providing the necessary activities, especially in cybersecurity.

What we have been witnessing is that critical infrastructure is transferred from the public to the private sector, so this private-public partnership will play a big role in the future of the cyber security field. At this point, I believe it is crucial that both sectors understand the importance of working together and going in the same direction.” concluded Denis Čaleta.

Home (and mobile) is where threats are rising due to the corona crisis. What can we learn from recent cases in the USA and in the EU?

Moving to working from our offices to our homes a year ago to protect both our health and our business has caused a lot of issues to various companies and organisations, depending on how well they had been prepared or experienced. It has become evident that cybercriminals see any crisis as an opportunity. Major change brings disruption, and businesses transitioning to working from home can be an attractive target. Because remote work requires accessing company information through a home network, risk is always involved – especially for companies that work with sensitive data. Unless a company uses VPN. The Identity Theft Resource Centre reported a 30% decrease in data breaches in 2020 and a 60% drop in the number of identities that have been compromised compared to 2019, all while cyberattacks have increased. Why is that?

Melissa Hathaway: “The number one thing businesses are being affected by coming from 2020 to 2021, is ransomware. It has increased more than 700% globally and it’s going after our healthcare system, manufacturing system etc. What opens the door to that type of criminal? The first is an unpatched software and hardware system. The second is phishing campaigns. So, keeping machines clean and equipped with current software and hardware is the number one priority to be safe. Backing up data and learning how to recover it as fast as possible, is also very important. And mastering digital risk management!”

After a very interesting discussion, the guests concluded that cyber security is still somehow too far back on peoples’ agendas, although there are more and more initiatives and educational programmes that educate and support society. Experts in this field will be very sought after in near future.

We would love to invite you to the eighth webinar: Artificial Intelligence – Opportunity or a Threat? on March the 9th, at 5.30 PM CET. In this free webinar, we will discuss new angles on AI and how it can help your business and your life. We will also discuss to what extent AI is a threat to our jobs and how will we adapt to it. Guests in this panel will be Shlomo Engelson Argamon (Illinois Institute of Technology, US), Marko Grobelnik (Jozef Stefan Institute, SI) and Bojan Cestnik (GEA College, SI). The moderator of the webinar will be Jure Trilar (4PDIH and Laboratory for Telecommunications, SI.)

You can apply here: https://mba.gea-college.si/module-8-artificial-intelligence-opportunity-or-threat/


We are proud to be part of this great program that will be carried out in partnership with:

This project was funded, in part, through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the Authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of State.

Entrepreneurship in New Reality is a tailored-made project, aimed at sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas among entrepreneurs in the times of new reality. It aims to promote cross-national collaboration, facilitate development of new business, and enhance Trans-Atlantic perspective.





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