Arian Sheremeti for Vicinity Chronicles, 16 November 2021
Today, the rapid adoption of digital technologies is helping Kosovar companies to improve their offer by meeting the new expectations and constant demands of their customers. Thanks to innovative technologies, businesses in Kosovo have the opportunity to automate their business processes faster and better than ever before, enabling you to be as competitive as possible in the market.
Ongoing initiatives to digitalize the business may have helped Kosovar companies grow rapidly and export their products outside of Kosovo. However, as reliance on digital technology has grown to grow the business, the risk of cybercriminals has increased almost unnoticed.
Finally, a Kosovar company in the wood processing industry with fifty employees was the victim of a cyber attack that caused complete paralysis of its activity for several days in a row. Cyber experts had to be hired for the recovery of the information systems, and all of this resulted in the delays of international deliveries and other financial losses that this company suffered as a result of the cyber attack.
The company in question has always focused on improving the supply of the products it exports outside of Kosovo and improving their quality through the automation and digitalization of work processes, and it had never thought that one day its operations could be threatened by cyber attacks. The case of the company in question is not an isolated case and can easily be repeated in other companies if the risk of cybercrime is not taken seriously. Cyber attacks like this prove that no business is safe, regardless of size, industry, or where they operate.
Recently in different countries we have seen that cybercriminals target not only the private sector, but also the public one. In fact, in some cases, cyber attacks on public institutions are even more attractive to cybercriminals because these institutions are more clumsy in acquiring and implementing cyber security technologies and tools as a result of the limited budget for information security, and other challenges, such as retaining trained staff in the relevant field of information security, etc.
In 2015, the Government of the Republic of Kosovo had drafted the State Strategy for Cyber Security, but it expired in 2019, and since then it has not been reviewed and updated. Meanwhile the draft law on Cyber Security (Ministry of Internal Affairs) is still in public consultation, although it should had been completed in August 2020. The Ministry of Economy has recently hired experts from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) for technical assistance in the drafting of another draft law on Network and Information Systems Security. Although there have been positive moves by Kosovar lawmakers in this regard, it should not be forgotten that cyber attacks have increased at a very rapid pace. These attacks pose a continuing threat to critical infrastructure and generally to national security. Therefore, lawmakers would have to work together and at a faster pace to provide a more secure digital environment through legal instruments such as laws, regulations, directives, etc.
Arian Sheremeti has over 10 years of international experience in designing and managing complex information security systems solutions