The Call For Leaders interview series enters its third phase, with the established 3Q format receiving a revamp for 2021. The original Call For Leaders 3Q and its sequel, Call For Leaders – Back in Business, have seen us talking to quite a diverse roster of business leaders in Romania, representing top companies and various industries. For the first episode of Call For Leaders 2021, BR sat down with one of the newest Country Managers in Romania, Bogdan Pismicenco of Kaspersky, appointed in January this year, which makes him the perfect person to launch a new #Call4Leaders!
· After a difficult 2020 year, how do you think business optimism will be influenced in 2021?
I am an optimist, but I would be cautious about 2021. We are far from being over the pandemic, the world is undergoing a profound change in terms of work habits and life habits in general, lots of industries are going online, some of them are going under.
In 2021, people have grown tired of the stay at home restrictions, yet we still need to keep our distance and stay connected. Cyber criminals have had a full year to readjust and find new and ripe targets on the internet – as so many companies moved online over a very short period of time and have not have time to seriously train their staff – and they are now in full swing. Stalkerware and ransomware incidents are increasingly frequent.
There are ongoing concerns about personal data protection and for good reason – from undisclosed data collection tools to data breaches, we have seen all sorts of incidents last year and we have no reason to believe they will not continue this year – so we have to remain alert and vigilant.
Last but not least, online schooling and the need for indoor entertainment have considerably increased the time our children spend connected and this leaves them vulnerable to all sorts of online predators, not to mention forming them sedentary habits that will be difficult to revert when all of this is over.
So all in all, 2021 is a year we will have to work with and adjust to just as we had to do with 2020.
· How will your company be involved in the development of your industry, and also in the recovery of other sectors which were affected by the pandemic?
Thanks to the nature of our work, we are in a very good position to help a lot of companies. And we do that actively, either with our solutions and services for companies of all sizes, or with our open intelligence platforms, cyber security awareness platforms or stalker detection tools. We were very busy in 2020 and we anticipate that 2021 will be just as busy.
· How will you approach innovation and new investments in 2021?
Innovation is continuous in our line of business, so in 2021 we will continue to research and develop new tools and new ways to make the online world safer for companies and individual users. Our main investments are directed to brainpower and I am happy to say Romania is going to expand its team and its regional outreach in 2021. We are an important country for Kaspersky and our role is going to become even more significant this year.