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At the EU-U.S. Summit in June 2021, the European Union and the United States announced the Trade and Technology Council, a platform for cooperation to ensure that trade and technology policies can deliver for EU and U.S. citizens, and demonstrate to the world how democratic and market-oriented approaches to trade, technology, and innovation can improve lives and be a force for greater prosperity. One of the ten working groups of the Trade and Technology Council – Promoting SME Access To and Use of Digital Tools – is focused on ensuring access to digital tools and technologies for SMEs in both the European and the United States to spur their growth, innovation, and competitiveness.
As chairs of this Working Group, we plan to organise a series of trainings/listening sessions for European and U.S. SMEs in specific areas. During these sessions, SMEs will be able to explain their main barriers in the path to digitalisation and share best practices, as well as make suggestions to policy makers on what type of support they would need from them.
The first webinar of the series will be on the topic of ‘cybersecurity’ and will take place on 25 January 2022 from 15:00 to 17:00 (Brussels time). A recent survey by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity reveals that for over 80% of SMEs cyber-security attacks can have serious negative impact on their business within just a week of the issues happening and for 57% of them this could even mean to go bankrupt or close down the business. As businesses have increasingly gone digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity has emerged as an even greater challenge for SMEs and the need for stronger cybersecurity awareness and preparedness has become even more evident.
For these reasons, the webinar will consist of two parts. In the first part of the webinar, Lucio Gonzalez Jimenez from SGS Brightsight CyberLab will give a training on how SMEs can recognize cybercriminals and online threats to their business, protect themselves from the risks of operating on the Internet; and make the products and services they sell cyber-secure. A trainer from the United States may also present. In the second part of the webinar, SMEs in the European Union and the United States will discuss their own experiences about cybersecurity challenges and the solutions they have found. SMEs will also have the chance to provide recommendations to the EU and U.S. chairs of the working group on which measures you would need to become more cyber resilient.
Below you will find a detailed agenda of the webinar. This will take place on the platform Interactio, which offers the possibility of following the event in seven languages, namely English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, and Romanian.
There will be space for 750 participants. While we will aim to have registration on a first come, first served basis, we also seek to have a proper balance between EU and U.S. participants. All confirmed participants will receive a link to the meeting. All non-confirmed participants will be able to access the recording after the meeting. While the training will be recorded and made available via a link after the meeting, the discussion will not be recorded.
Please fill in this registration form if you want to participate to the webinar.
Furthermore, we would like to kindly invite you to take part in a survey to hear from you which digital challenges are most relevant. This will be used to plan further trainings/listening sessions.
For any question or information, feel free to send us an e-mail at TTC-WG9@ec.europa.eu and/or engage on Futurium. Once logged-in, this platform of the European Commission enables you to share contributions and comments to the work of the Trade and Technology Council and stay updated on the various events organised.