The desire for cybersecurity is growing in Italy

Hacker’s dictionary. Universities and virtual polygons, 5G and Cyber-dojo, virtual gyms where young and old train themselves to practice defense techniques against data theft

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The Italian cybersecurity scenario is starting to get a bit crowded. And fortunately.

At the end of the European cybersecurity month there are many appointments that follow each other. Yesterday, the Ict Security Forum in Rome, today Ibm Think in the magnificent setting of the Aquarium at the Esquilino and many other initiatives including, Saturday, HackInBo in Bologna.

Small and medium-sized cybersecurity companies are beginning to emerge: Cybaze, engaged in a whirlwind of mergers and acquisitions and Omnitechit, also very Italian, which has opened offices in half of Europe.

These days the University of Rome Sapienza inaugurates the second year of the master’s degree in Cybersecurity, the private Luiss finances a postdoc on the subject, the Link Campus of Scotti starts a cyber-range, ie a “cybernetic polygon” where teams of strikers and defenders train their cyber skills. The Cosenza cybersecurity district runs, and in Cagliari a new Master’s degree in Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence has been approved.

Meanwhile, the Italian national hacker of the National Cybersecurity Laboratory is in sixth place in the European Cyberchallenge championships promoted by the European Commission and local companies present themselves in London to find investors under the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a constant effort to spread cyber threats, Clusit, the association of cybersecurity experts, continues its valuable work of monitoring cyber attacks and an association of hacker-citizens like CyberSaiyan organizes a sold-out festival in Rome, RomHack. Cyber-dojos, virtual gyms where young and not so young train themselves to practice defense techniques against data theft and cyberstalking according to the principles of Zanshin tech, are spreading, proposing the digital use of the most noble martial arts principles.

All right then? Yes and no. Cybercrime damage cuba 600 billion dollars a year and, according to the accounts of Kaspersky Lab at Cybertech Europe in Rome, it costs us as four orbital space stations, about 1 percent of world GDP. Even Italy is not immune. The latest documented attack on an Italian naval company discovered by Yoroi is shaking hands. If this were not enough, we must consider that the social networks we use every day are a sieve from which drip huge amounts of digital data, the same ones that state and non-state actors use for their political influence operations: starting from individual profiles these rogue actors personalize political messages to manipulate the perception of relevant issues such as immigration, taxes, belonging to the European family. In addition, the multinationals that spread networks on our territory, sell equipment and software for digital communications do not always guarantee its safety, especially in strategic sectors. A theme that will become increasingly relevant with the full application of the 5G, the future world standard for communication between connected objects, automobiles, industrial systems and pacemakers.

The effort to put into place an Italian ecosystem of cybersecurity made with the Gentiloni decree now needs legs to walk. At the Security Information Department, DIS, they know it, but we do not know if they have understood it also at the Ministry of Defense and the Interior, from which we expect a strong strengthening of the cyber-defense investigation and defense structures.

Written by

Teacher, journalist, hacktivist. Privacy advocate, copyright critic, free software fan, cybersecurity curious.

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