On December 7th, the Cyber Security Laboratory researchers from Vilnius University (VU), in collaboration with global counterparts, unveiled the outcomes of the three-year ADVANCES initiative to the public. The conference, titled Stronger Together - Collaboration in Building Cyber Resilience, marked the conclusion of this significant project with relevance to the realms of science, information technology, and the broader community.

The conference, held at the VU Scholarly Communication and Information Centre, was dedicated to the promotion of science and therefore covered a wide range of topics of great interest to the public, from the dangers posed by workers in companies to the debate on when to educate children about the dangers of the internet.

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Ramūnas Markauskas, photo Ugnius Bagdonavičius

“When we tell children about witches, we are telling them that in today’s world, they don’t necessarily have to look scary, but that they can look like normal people but have evil intentions. In the same way, we can tell children about cyber witches,” said Ramūnas Markauskas, Head of Business Enablement at Nord Security, in his presentation.

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Assoc. Prof. dr. Agnė Brilingaitė, photo Ugnius Bagdonavičius

Assoc. Prof. Agnė Brilingaitė, leader of the ADVANCES project, emphasises that cyber security extends beyond technical expertise. While commonly categorised under computer science in international competency frameworks, it encompasses a broader spectrum of subjects, including law, human behaviour, and politics. This multidisciplinary approach enables practitioners to accurately attribute an attack to a hacker group or hostile character. The researcher underscores the importance of soft skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. Effective incident resolution, she notes, relies on timely information sharing within teams.

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Event moment, photo Ugnius Bagdonavičius

Edvinas Kerza complements the researcher. As the Managing Partner of ScaleWolf, a venture capital fund specialising in defence and security, and a former Deputy Minister of Defence of the Republic of Lithuania, he brings significant experience in digital, cyber, corporate security, and risk management. E. Kerza firmly believes that cybersecurity hygiene must be ingrained in our DNA: “Your information is leaked online every day. When you send an email, it loses its privacy. All the information that is online is no longer private”.

Do our genes influence how we react to stress in the face of a threat? This question was explored by Prof. Laima Ambrozaitytė from the Department of Human and Medical Genetics at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine. Her team contributed to the ADVANCES research, which included inviting both IT professionals and non-IT professionals to solve problems in the system developed by the Cyber Security Laboratory and, in turn, to donate blood. Assumptions were made based on the results of genotype-phenotype associations and risk assessment estimates.

The main objective of the study and the ADVANCES project as a whole is to improve the performance of cybersecurity professionals by identifying potential improvements from three different angles: Studying humans as a biological entity, analysing human behaviour patterns and identifying the required knowledge and skills of cybersecurity professionals.

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ADVANCES project team, photo Ugnius Bagdonavičius

The conference Stronger Together - Collaboration in Building Cyber Resilience was moderated by Assoc. Prof. Linas Bukauskas, the Head of the VU Cyber Security Laboratory, presented the results of the project. The opening speech was delivered by Prof. Remigijus Paulavičius, Vice Dean of Science at the VU Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics. Additional presentations were given by project partners Prof. Stefan Sütterlin from Østfold University College and Anu Baum from Tallinn Technical University. The conference concluded with a panel discussion titled “CyberSecurity Education: Going Beyond Cyber Community,” featuring insights from Dr. Rūta Pirta-Dreimane from Riga Technical University, Dr. Aušra Dilijonaitė (Cybersecurity and Risk Specialist, CISO, and member of Women4Cyber), Prof. Aušrius Juozapavičius from the General Jonas Žemaitis Lithuanian Military Academy, and E. Kerza, Managing Partner of ScaleWolf. The discussion, moderated by Dr. Ricardo G. Lugo, a researcher at Østfold University College, explored topics such as when and how to educate the public on cybersecurity and the differences or similarities between the roles of men and women in these areas.

Learn further details and explore the advancements and outcomes of the ADVANCES project by clicking here.


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