GEIGER empowers small businesses to manage cyber threats

GEIGER empowers small businesses to manage cyber threats

Much like radioactivity, cyber threats are hard to detect without proper tools. There are plenty of tools available, but they don’t match the needs of small businesses with no expertise and resources to invest in costly and complicated solutions. GEIGER aims at closing this gap.

GEIGER is a new EU Horizon 2020 innovation project. Its goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs to become aware of their risks related to data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity, and assist them in reducing these risks. will lead GEIGER's communications is leading GEIGER’s dissemination work. GEIGER has a vision of being more than just another cybersecurity tool – the goal is to build an entire ecosystem that includes the tools to detect and mitigate threats, but also communities that can successfully introduce these tools to small businesses and support them in their use. As the responsible for the project's communications, will play a crucial role in building these communities.

A Geiger counter for for cybersecurity

The project will develop GEIGER, a “Geiger counter” for cybersecurity. It can be used on the web or the smartphone, and it dynamically shows the level of current risks for the company. Seeing high risk allows the user to react immediately and to take simple measures or get help in lowering the risk exposure significantly.

To assist the businesses that seek protection, GEIGER will also build an ecosystem of competent individuals and organisations that offer help. GEIGER collaborates with schools and partners to develop a standardised learning programme, the “Certified Security Defenders.” The project will pilot the programme in Switzerland with the BBB vocational school and the association of small and medium-sized enterprises SKV, in the Netherlands with the accountants’ association SRA, and in Romania with the startup and innovation hub CLUJ IT. After completing the training, the Certified Security Defenders will be acting as “ambassadors” who will pass on their knowledge to the small businesses with whom they work.

There are 25 million SMEs and micro-enterprises in the EU, and many of them are at risk without even being aware of it, let alone knowing how to avoid those threats. Reaching out to these small businesses with an easy and affordable solution will have a major impact on improving their level of security, privacy, and data protection, and on protecting the European economy from damage.

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The GEIGER project is carried out by FHNW University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland and 17 partners from around Europe: Utrecht University, Berufsfachschule BBB, Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg, Kaspersky, Montimage, KPMG, ATOS,, Schweizerischer KMU Verband SKV, Samenwerkende Registeraccountants en Accountants-Administratieconsulenten SRA, CLUJ IT, CERT-RO, Coiffure Loredana, Haako, E-abo, Braintronix, and Public Tender.

GEIGER started on June 1, 2020, and will be running for 30 months. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 883588 (GEIGER). The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of the funding body.

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