Panel: Awareness-raising is a Complex, Non-linear Process Requiring Sustained and Multi-faceted Efforts, and International Cooperation

Liina Areng, Director of EU CyberNet and LAC4, participated in a panel at the Seminar on Security in the Digital Economy, hosted by Brazil under its G20 presidency in São Luís. The panel focused on raising public awareness about digital security.

At the beginning, Liina Areng noted that when preparing for this panel, she came to an example of cyber threats being similar across different regions, despite geographic distances in-between – Estonian NCSC aims to replicate cyber awareness campaign materials targeting children and their parents of,, Thus, she added, collaboration and mutual learning are vital, as evidenced by the EU CyberNet project’s efforts to share knowledge and facilitate global cyber capacity building since 2022, including several joint activities with Brazil.

Liina Areng highlighted that awareness-raising is a complex, non-linear process requiring sustained, multi-faceted efforts, much like the adoption of seatbelts or helmets. By raising cyber awareness, Liina Areng explained, we safeguard the trust that underpins our digital society and empower individuals to take responsibility for protecting their devices and data. Achieving this requires a cultural shift, where clear messages and easy-to-follow advice are essential. Global collaboration and sharing best practices are crucial for building robust cyber defenses, fostering a culture of vigilance, and ultimately protecting our digital way of life. One significant challenge is engaging those uninterested in cybersecurity, such as the elderly, making awareness-raising a complex, sustained effort akin to promoting seatbelt or helmet use.

The panel aimed to share experiences on empowering individuals to better protect themselves in an evolving digital environment by increasing awareness of risks and providing practical recommendations for addressing cyber threats. It emphasized the importance of collaboration between governments, the private sector, academia, and civil society in fostering a culture of digital security. Panelists shared success stories, unsuccessful experiences, and lessons learned from their countries and organizations.

The panel concluded that prioritising people over information systems and data is crucial in cybersecurity. Ensuring a safe and inclusive digital experience is essential for the success of digital services, that comes down to trust.

The additional panelists were Leonardo Rodrigo Ferreira (Director of the Privacy and Information Security Directorate of the Digital Government Secretariat of the Ministry of Management and Innovation in Public Services of Brazil), Giuseppe Marrara (Senior Director – Government Affairs and Public Policies – Latin America, CISCO), Guilherme Alves (Project Manager, SaferNet Brasil) and the panel was moderated by Miriam von Zuben (Senior Security Analyst at the Brazilian National Computer Emergency Response Team –

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