New CM for Microsoft Baltics: ‘Our focus is on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and supporting national public sector organizations.’

New CM for Microsoft Baltics

Microsoft’s newly appointed Country Manager for the Baltics, Leonid Polupan, now oversees both Microsoft Ukraine and Microsoft Baltics. He assumed this role in October 2022, succeeding Vaida Šapolė. Previously, Mr. Polupan served as the Country Manager of Ukraine, aiding Ukrainian customers and the government in navigating turbulent times, bolstering resilience against changes, and countering intensified cyberattacks*. With his extensive experience, Polupan emerges as a valuable asset for the teams in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. He emphasizes that Microsoft’s primary focus will be on assisting businesses and public sector institutions with cybersecurity, fostering startup ecosystem, and leveraging artificial intelligence for business growth and efficiency.

Cybersecurity is one of the key challenges for Baltic region

According to the Microsoft Digital Defense Report, the company disclosed that it thwarts an average of 4,000 identity authentication threats per second and has eliminated over 100,000 domains utilized by cybercriminals. User password attacks have increased tenfold in the last year alone, and Microsoft has seen approximately 6 000 multi-factor authentication fatigue attempts per day over the last year. Cyber-attacks have been reported in 120 countries in the last year (July 2022 – June 2023). In some cases, nearly half of these attacks targeted NATO member states, while more than 40% of attacks targeted government or private sector organizations involved in the development and maintenance of critical infrastructure.

Leonid Polupan commented on the key challenges at Baltic: “Microsoft technologies help governments around the globe to protect their critical infrastructure by detecting, analyzing and disrupting cyber attacks. To help respond to the growing number of cyber-attacks, Microsoft’s Digital Threat Analysis Centre team continuously monitors events in cyberspace to identify and counter threatening activity against NATO alliance members. Experience has shown that cyber-attacks orchestrated by an aggressor country target mainly the networks of energy, water, and other critical infrastructure organizations. However, companies of all sizes need be alert and stay resilient against any compromises”.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) to move forward for business and the public sector

AI is the technology of our era. The opportunities with AI for Baltic region are endless – for every business of any size and any maturity. Corporation already intensively using the power of AI for cybersecurity. For example, in Ukraine we saw the first successful use of AI technology to help defend against Russian cyberattacks. In the coming years, innovation in AI‑powered cyber defense will help reverse the tide of cyberattacks.

AI offers a great opportunity for transformation for every industry, every organization, and every person. As well as an opportunity – perhaps the only one – to manage some of the biggest challenges we face, from the effects of climate change and natural disasters to humanitarian projects and difficulties related to medical conditions and food security. For business, AI positively affects human activity, improving production processes and enhancing creativity. Employees will be able to focus on what’s really important and devote time to tasks and tasks that only require human intervention. The huge investment made by the corporation shows its optimism and willingness to help all people, businesses and society achieve more. Both in addressing the big challenges and in basic, everyday solutions for example using the help of artificial intelligence to automate processes in companies, saving valuable time and resources.

“We are entering a golden age of artificial intelligence that will redefine work as we know it by empowering people, promoting inclusion and using technology to help shape a new work culture. I am thrilled to explore new possibilities with Baltic partners and clients”, commented Leonid Polupan.

Upskilling is crucial for new business

Upskilling holds significant importance, especially in light of emerging technologies. Now more than ever, there’s a critical need to invest in acquiring new skills and learning how to leverage technology for innovation and success. Microsoft has been actively investing in various upskilling programs across the Baltic countries and consistently encourages schools, businesses, and the public sector to participate and make use of resources like Microsoft Learn, GitHub, and LinkedIn online courses.

About Leonid Polupan:

Leonid has 20 years of experience in business development, sales, customer service, finance, and people management, gained in various management positions in multinational companies in the telecommunications and security industry. He holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Ukrainian National University of Life and Environmental Sciences. He has spent the last six years developing his career at Microsoft, starting as an Enterprise Sales Manager in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, before moving on to lead teams in 25 Central and Eastern European countries.

*For Microsoft’s support to Ukraine, Microsoft Ukraine was awarded the “Peace Prize” in 2022 by its President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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