Italian SMEs urgently need to protect themselves from cyberattacks. But their small size and lack of culture of cyber risks constitute a limit to the adaptation to technologies and the development of protection systems. An essential contribution to the formation of this new culture comes from universities: this is the meaning of the workshop "Tools to improve the cyber posture of SMEs" promoted by the Academy ofUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma within the Departmental Faculty of Ingengineering

With the opportunity, UCBM kicked off the first edition of the 1st level Master in Cybersecurity management. The advanced training course intends to respond to the need for protection of the IT structures of companies, institutions and public administrations and is organized starting from the indications of theEuropean Cybersecurity Skills Framework (ECSF). To the day, wanted by teacher. Roberto Setola, Ordinary of Automatica, and coordinated by Luca Faramondi dell 'Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, numerous leading figures in Italian cybersecurity participated, including the Prefect Bruno Frattasi, Director of the National Agency for National Cybersecurity (ACN); Ivan Gabrielli, Director of the Postal and Communications Police Service, Matthew Lucchetti (Cyber ​​4.0), Nicla Ivana Diomede, Director of the Cybersecurity and Security Department of Roma Capitale, Martina Colasante, Google's Government Affairs and Public Policy, Rocco Mammoliti, Information Security Manager of Poste Italiane SpA and many others.

The current scenario sees small and medium-sized Italian companies in a very challenging position, jointly exposed to IT risks capable of causing serious damage to the production structure up to and including the closure of the business. Data from the most recent studies carried out in the sector say that 80% of Italian companies affected by cyber attacks are small or medium. If we look at the overall number of attacks, we discover that in the first 6 months of 2023, successful ones grew by over 40% compared to the same period in 2022, with an increase rate that in Italy was four times higher than the global one, transforming Italy into a central target for cyber pirates: today our country alone collects 9,6% of the global total of successful attacks (Swascan Report by Tinexta). 

On the business side, however, awareness of these risks is completely inadequate: 83% of Italian SMEs believe they are immune from cyber attacks (Ipsos for Certego 2023) and 72% of those interviewed have never carried out training activities on IT risks and 43% have not identified an IT security manager (Grenke Italia conducted by Cerved Group with Clio Security).  

"Specialized universities such as the Bio-Medico Campus and research centers where cybersecurity issues are studied and planned must open up to the outside world to give concrete support to the national productive fabric in this path of innovation - recalled the prof. Bristle - Then them, small and medium-sized Italian businesses can find a point of reference in the area to choose training programs and courses, but also to find fundamental enabling skills in the cybersecurity field. UCBM has long implemented this openness strategy, generating a win-win eco-system between the University and small and large companies. An open-innovation ecosystem has emerged which, in the field of cyber security, also transforms itself into a cooperation network and hub for info-sharing on threats, experiences and best practices".

"We know well how much the cyber threat is growing in our country, in particular in the healthcare and manufacturing sectors and how high the cyber risk of Italian SMEs is. Therefore, all that remains is to equip ourselves to be prepared to face the risks and pitfalls of cyber incidents. There is a need to grow in resilience, awareness and cyber robustness - he underlined in conclusion Bruno Frattasi - Research and training play a fundamental role in promoting a new culture of cybersecurity. This applies to citizens as well as to public administrations and the productive fabric. We therefore welcome valuable initiatives like this one fromUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma. The ACN is strongly committed, in various ways, to supporting SMEs also thanks to the measures envisaged in the National Cybersecurity Strategy, with information actions, actual information campaigns, through collaboration agreements with trade representatives and with our university and research excellence".