SMEs and digital threats

In today’s digital age, cyber threats are a constant concern for businesses of all sizes. However, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can be particularly vulnerable. A recent report by the European DIGITAL SME Alliance found a 57% increase in cyberattacks across Europe, with many targeting smaller firms that may lack both advanced security measures and expertise.


This is where the recently concluded “Basic Cybersecurity” course aimed to make a difference. Offered as part of Sweden Secure Tech Hub, the course empowered participants with the knowledge and skills to navigate the evolving cybersecurity landscape. Throughout the spring, attendees gained a comprehensive understanding of core concepts through workshops, self-study modules, and practical exercises. This included threat identification, security measures, and risk management strategies, helping participants to develop effective defenses for their businesses.


The Cybersecurity course was led by deputy professor of Linköping University, Mikael Asplund, and Sakarias Strand of Kista Science City. Sakarias reflected on the course’s impact and the enthusiasm he saw among participants.


“Participants showed a great eagerness to learn and engaged actively in discussions and exercises. Many of them, who did not primarily work with cybersecurity, were able to connect theoretical knowledge to real-world situations. This demonstrates the vital role of cybersecurity training for SMEs, as it links awareness and practice. As cyber risks continue to grow, educational initiatives like this one will be increasingly important in building resilient and secure business environments.”

Reflections from participants


Sadhana Pettersson, Sales Manager at Bouvet, and Jennyca Imner Nicolau, Business support specialist at Abbott Medical are two of the participants. We spoke to them about their experiences and insights gained during the spring.


What motivated you to participate?


Sadhana: “In the IT sector, there’s often a general lack of cybersecurity awareness. When working with clients in consulting services, it can be challenging to navigate situations where the understanding level is lower. This course seemed like a perfect opportunity to bridge that gap.”


Jennyca: “I wanted more insight into cybersecurity in general, but also saw an opportunity to meet others and hear about their needs and challenges. The fact that the course included in-person sessions and offered university credits made it particularly appealing to me.”


How did the course impact your understanding of cybersecurity?


Sadhana: “I think that it provided a deeper understanding of cybersecurity’s complexity. It opened my eyes to how it’s not just an IT issue, but a business concern as well.”


Jennyca: “The course provided tools to identify weak links in process chains, which I can apply in upcoming projects. I now realize that everyone has a responsibility to protect their organization from cyberattacks.”

Was there a particular activity or discussion that stood out to you?

Sadhana: “The threat modeling exercise was very engaging. Although it was a new concept for me, it was incredibly valuable. Learning how threat modeling can be combined with risk analysis provided a powerful tool that I can definitely utilize in the future.”

Jennyca: “The small group discussions were particularly interesting to me. Hearing about other people’s experiences added a lot of value beyond the lectures. Also, reviewing materials before the lectures made the sessions smoother, allowing us to quickly dive into these group discussions. Sakarias was an excellent moderator, guiding discussions in an inclusive and easy-going manner, which was crucial given the varied levels of knowledge among participants.”


Sweden Secure Tech

Sweden Secure Tech Hub is a national collaboration between six of Sweden’s leading science parks focused on enhancing cybersecurity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The hub provides a variety of resources, including educational courses and support for developing secure digital products. By participating in the hub’s programs, businesses can access the latest cybersecurity knowledge and tools, helping them to protect their digital assets and comply with international standards.

For more information and to sign up for upcoming courses, reach out to