The Trinational Cybersecurity Days is a free three-day event organised by the FHNW School of Business and supported by Interreg project TITAN-E. The event targets small and medium sized enterprises in Switzerland, Germany and France, who have interest in cybersecurity and new technologies. By creating an open space for exchange, FHNW School of Business gives all the participants an opportunity to get new insights into the impact that cyber risks produce on their daily working routine and their business in general.

This year, the event took place on 18-20 February 2021, online. The GEIGER project was introduced on the first day by members of the GEIGER consortium Bettina Schneider, Petra Maria Asprion (FHNW), and Edgardo Montes de Oca (Montimage). The central discussion around the project unfolded during the Saturday’s workshops "Share and exchange: Cybersecurity Challenges for small businesses" and “Data Protection: Conduct a data protection impact analysis”. The workshop covered topics on challenges that small businesses are facing, and that can be tackled by awareness and training.

In one of the sessions, Esther Zaugg, a FHNW master student researcher, gave the participants the opportunity to get hands-on experience with data protection impact assessments. A second parallel session focused on how to communicate the most common cyber attacks to small businesses. The following workshop was dedicated to exchanging experiences of the participants on cybersecurity in micro- and small enterprises (MSEs), as well as ideas on how to approach these issues. In a vivid discussion, many examples of cybersecurity "laziness" of employees came up, for example when it comes to secure passwords. Many good ideas on how to motivate employees were also brought up. One of them was to introduce cybersecurity as an important part of the business culture, making it a part of the normal operations, not something that is left for cybersecurity experts to handle. Other ideas touched upon the topic of gamification, and training that covers consequences such as "worst case scenarios".

The workshop was conducted by Jessica Peichl from the University of Education Freiburg, the institution leading the development of the GEIGER education programme, and Naomi de Marinis, the very first GEIGER Certified Security Defender. Naomi is studying in her third year of apprenticeship as a barber (Coiffeuse EFZ) at BBB Berufsfachschule Baden, located in Baden, Switzerland, and also works as an apprentice at Hair & Nails Butterfly. She gained expertise on cybersecurity in the first GEIGER use case pilot workshop, and became a pioneer for the Certified Security Defender programme within the GEIGER project. At the same time, she perceives the topic from the point of view of a small business, which helps her understand their challenges, and suggest solutions that fit their needs.

Find more information on the event here