Llorenç Huguet (left) with Juan José Fuster of cybersecurity specialists Intec. | Teresa Ayuga

The Balearic government and the University of the Balearic Islands are developing a plan for a unit dedicated to cybersecurity innovation. In response to a growing number of cyberattacks, the aim is to have this operable as soon as possible.

The former rector of the university and professor of computer sciences and artificial intelligence, Llorenç Huguet, is the driving force behind the project. He says that the government and firms specialising in cybersecurity at the ParcBit technology park are right behind it.

The goal of the unit, he adds, is to make businesses and institutions more aware of the risks posed by cyberattacks, which have increased "alarmingly". On average, there are some 30 attacks per day in the Balearics. In light of these attacks, the government and the university are giving priority to the creation of an agency for cybersecurity. Other regions of Spain have set up agencies for this purpose.

The most common forms of attack are ransomware and phishing. The financial damage that these can cause businesses is substantial. Huguet explains that smaller businesses are most susceptible to attacks and that they keep them quiet because of fear of additional damage to reputation. The cost, he says, can range between 2,000 and 50,000 euros. Large businesses have systems in place to prevent attacks, but they suffer them nevertheless.