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How secure are we (cyberly)?: The regional conference on cyber security "CSEC CONNECT 2024" has concluded

Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted one of the key conferences in the field of cyber security, titled "CSEC Connect 2024". This event brought together leading experts and CERTs from the region, marking the beginning of an important chapter for regional cyber security.

A CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) is an organization specialized in responding to cyber threats, incidents, and vulnerabilities in the digital environment. Their goal is to ensure a fast and effective response to incidents, providing support and resources to users to protect their systems and data. The conference hosted high-level representatives from national CERTs from Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, as well as leading experts from the industry such as IBM, ENISA, Naoris Group and Radically Open Security.

Predrag Puharić, the director of CSEC, emphasized the importance of this event, stating: "This is the first time such a conference is being held in Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing together representatives of national CERTs from across the region. The conference represents a key point for knowledge exchange and strengthening collaboration in the fight against cyber threats. Together, we are working towards creating a safer cyber space."

The "CSEC Connect 2024" conference took place on March 14th and 15th in Tarčin, featuring a diverse program including presentations and opportunities for experience and best practice exchange. A panel discussion on the topic "Current situation and future directions for CERTs in the Western Balkans" highlighted that collaboration could best be improved through joint projects and networking, as everyone faces similar challenges and difficulties.

It was emphasized that the "CSEC CONNECT 2024" Conference is one of the important steps in future collaboration, and networking among people in this field should be the focus for future cooperation. Furthermore, representatives of national CERTs from Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia agreed that people still lack the practice of reporting cyber attacks or sufficient knowledge of how to do so, indicating more work could be done in this area. An important note was also made regarding the lack of cyber capacity and study programs. The conference consisted of various interesting programs.

Peter Biro, an expert from ENISA, assigned participants of the conference the task of the "Cyber awareness game" exercise, where they had to identify the victim of online retail hacking, attacks through so-called "phishing". This is online identity theft, a type of fraud via email, or e-mail. Among others, lectures were delivered by: Jurica Banić, head of infrastructure at CSEC, David Carvalho, CEO and Chief Scientist of Naoris Group, Melanie Rieback, co-founder/CEO of "Radically Open Security" company, Iztok Šumak, leader in IBM's software security sector for Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jon Flaherty, expert from Shadowserver, and Marwan Ben Rached, Cybersecurity Coordinator at ITU.

The organization of the conference was supported by the Government of the United Kingdom.

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