The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is partnering with the Ukraine-founded global cybersecurity service provider ISSP to enhance the digital and cyber resilience of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Moldova.
SME owners and entrepreneurs attended a full day of cybersecurity training in Chisinau, which aimed to help them embed sustainable cybersecurity practices in their operations and secure their digital transformation.
The training focused on familiarising participants with the building blocks of a successful cybersecurity framework, and equipping them with the knowledge and tools to improve their awareness of cybersecurity risks. They learned to identify the areas and departments in their businesses most at risk of cyberattacks, while building their capacity to manage these threats more efficiently.
Among other topics, the attendees discussed data privacy and protection, common security threats and risks faced by SMEs, and learned how to detect and respond to cyberattacks, while ensuring cyber compliance and accountability.
Since the start of the war on Ukraine the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia,Ukraine) – and Moldova in particular – have witnessed a dramatic increase in cyberattacks that disproportionately affect SMEs, which make up over 99 per cent of all businesses in the EBRD’s regions. As SMEs often lack the resources, frameworks and expertise to thwart cybersecurity attacks, improving their awareness is paramount to strengthening economic resilience in Moldova and the wider region.
Angela Sax, EBRD Associate Director and Head of Moldova, said: “We are proud to be working with ISSP’s Ukrainian team to help SMEs in Moldova set the foundations for a sustainable and resilient digital infrastructure, which in recent times has become particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks. This work continues to support the digital transition in Moldova and the private sector’s development and competitiveness.”
Jacek Kubas, EBRD Head of Digital, added: “The EBRD puts digital at the heart of its activities across its regions through investments, policy and advisory services. We are very happy to be deploying our first cybersecurity project in Moldova, which is part of the Bank’s Cybersecurity Toolkit.”
This training is part of the EBRD Digital Hub’s Cybersecurity Toolkit, an advisory programme set up in January 2022 to improve clients’ cybersecurity resilience. It supports the implementation of the Bank’s Digital Approach, which promotes equal access to digital technology and skills, robust governance practices and financial and technical support to companies and governments.
The training also builds on the work of the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses (ASB) programme, which provides SMEs with access to expert consulting, training and mentoring, helping them become more competitive and resilient.
By partnering with ISSP, the Bank aims to address the lack of cybersecurity training for SMEs in Moldova, while supporting the private sector’s sustainable digital transformation. The initiative aligns with the Bank’s strategic priority in digitalisation, which aims, among other things, to help SMEs adopt new technologies while enhancing their digital security.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Moldova. To date the Bank has invested more than €1.8 billion in the country through 158 projects.
By Stasha Igrutinovic