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HOW AND WHY WE HAVE TO SOLVE THE CYBER SECURITY GENDER PROBLEM

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HOW AND WHY WE HAVE TO SOLVE THE CYBER SECURITY GENDER PROBLEM

In Italy, women working in IT are only 14% of the total.

In Europe, 17%, but this value has unfortunately been decreasing for 10 years.

It is better in America where the value is 29% and the situation is slowly improving (it was 26% in 2019).

In Cyber Security, things seem to work a little better: in 2021, women represent about 25% of the global workforce.

In 2013 they were only 11%, while they were already 20% in 2019.

Therefore, a situation that is evolving, but still far from the numbers we would expect.

Yet it is now clear that the skills needed in the present and, above all, in the future will be those in the technological field.

Information Technology is now an integral part of our lives, both on a personal level, but even more so on a professional level.

We have reached the point where being able to understand the digital world has become and will increasingly be a distinctive element on a professional level, able to distinguish between those who will be able to undertake successful careers and those who will be cut off from this constantly evolving world.

On the other hand, the unemployment rate in Cyber Security has been 0% since 2011.

Cyber Security jobs grew by 350% from 2013 to 2021 and 3.5 million vacant jobs were expected globally (up from 1 million in 2014).

The good conditions are therefore not lacking.

But what could help the women of today and tomorrow to get closer to STEM technology and disciplines?

In my opinion, it is important to foresee interventions in three main areas:

1. EDUCATION

Interest in the STEM disciplines must be aroused in the smallest ones right away.

It is important to propose educational games with a scientific and technological background and to allow girls to freely dispose of tools normally reserved for boys.

It is much more educational to play with lego or to learn how to use a screwdriver than to spend time with the usual dolls!

2. EDUCATION

Science subjects should be introduced to children from kindergarten instead of reserving them for secondary school.

On the other hand, computer science should become a normal subject from the very beginning of school.

3. TRAINING

Technical training courses should be much more widespread and should be encouraged to give young people the opportunity to enrich their studies with specific skills.

In the same way, it is important to foresee retraining courses in the technical field for those who have to return to the world of work or want to change their path.

Women For Security, the Community of professionals working in the world of IT Security in Italy, of which our CEO Sofia Scozzari is a member of the Board, brings together Cyber Ladies with very varied profiles, from research to technical, legal, marketing and sales.

At this point, the Community has various activities under its belt in order to provide continuous training, awareness and updating on issues relating to the cyber world.

Among these, the Italian Cyber Ladies Lab (ICLL) is the work group with the aim of creating a permanent laboratory for monitoring female presence in Italian cyber professionals.

Among the main objectives of the Lab, to identify how many women currently operate in the world of cybersecurity in Italy, since this data is still lacking at national level.

We have therefore created a survey to identify current or future professionals (including students) interested in the world of Cyber Security in Italy.

The survey, available here, is totally free and takes only a few minutes to complete.

A small effort that will help us to photograph the situation of female Cyber Security in Italy and to better understand how to intervene to better target the Community’s activities.

Help us by filling out or sharing the survey as much as possible among colleagues!

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CLUSIT REPORT OCTOBER 2021 EDITION: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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CLUSIT REPORT OCTOBER 2021 EDITION: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Security Summit Streaming Edition 2021 ended last week.

Organized by Clusit, the Italian Association for Information Security, and Astrea, an agency specializing in the organization of events in the field of Information Security, Security Summit is the event dedicated to promoting the culture of Cyber Security in Italy.

The November edition focused on current events: between data and analysis of new threats, the Clusit experts also explored the new role of the Intelligence and Defense of the Country System, with some of the protagonists of the political and security world that accompanied the birth of the National Cyber Security Agency.

In particular, during the plenary session on the first day of November 9, 2021, the Clusit Report on ICT Security in Italy in its October 2021 Edition was presented with our data on cyber attacks.

In the first half of 2021, we analyzed 1,053 cyber attacks, 24% more than in the same period of 2020, for a monthly average of 170 serious attacks (it was 156 in 2020).

Attacks carried out for Cybercrime purposes increased by 21%, which today represent 88% of the total.

Attacks related to Information Warfare are also growing (+ 18%), the so-called “information war”, while those related to Cyber Espionage activities apparently decrease (-36.7%), after the extraordinary peak of 2020 mainly due to espionage related to the development of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19.

Among the victims, the “Government” category represents 16% of the total and is confirmed in first place, as in the previous semester, while in second place we find Health, (13% of total attacks).

Attacks on the Transportation / Storage (+ 108.7%), Professional, Scientific, Technical (+ 85.2%), News & Multimedia (+ 65.2%), Wholesale / Retail (+61, 3%), Manufacturing (+ 46.9%), Energy / Utilities (+ 46.2%), Government (+ 39.2%), Arts / Entertainment (+ 36.8%), Healthcare (+18.8 %).

Attacks towards the “Multiple Targets” category decreased (-23.4%), which makes us understand the change of strategy by the attackers who at this point prefer targeted attacks and towards well-identified targets.

In the first half of 2021, attacks on European-based realities increase significantly: a quarter of the attacks are in fact directed towards this area (+ 9% compared to 2020).

The percentages of victims in the American area (almost half of the classified attacks) and those belonging to Asian organizations remain substantially unchanged.

On the other hand, serious attacks on targets with offices distributed in different countries decrease in percentage (16% in the first half of 2021, compared to 24% in 2020), which, once again, makes us understand how much attackers prefer to target more defined targets.

Malware is the most used technique, accounting for 43% of the total (up 10.5% over the previous year).

Unknown techniques (“Unknown” category) are in second place (+ 13.9%), surpassing the “Vulnerability” category, which is growing worryingly (+ 41.4%), and “Phishing / Social Engineering”, which is slightly down (-13%).

In essence, attackers can still rely on the effectiveness of Malware, produced industrially at decreasing costs, and on the exploitation of vulnerabilities, to hit two thirds of their targets (59% of the cases analyzed).

Furthermore, in the first half of 2021 attacks with very important and critical effects are 74% of the total (they were 49% in 2020), while 22% have a significant impact and only 4% low.

Basically, from the trends highlighted in the first 6 months of this year, it is evident that cyber attacks are constantly increasing, both in terms of frequency, criticality and impacts.

The situation can be defined as a global emergency: the losses due to damages caused by Cybercrime amounted to $6 trillion in 2021 and now account for a significant percentage of world GDP.

We hope that the new investments for the digital transition will represent an opportunity for Italy to catch up and fill its gaps also in the Cyber Security field, to lead to a significant reduction of the surface of the country’s attack.

Otherwise, the risk is to introduce new but insecure technology, with the result of worsening the Italian situation overall.

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LOVE AND CYBER SECURITY

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LOVE AND CYBER SECURITY

With the European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM), the European Union promotes awareness of threats and the culture of security among citizens. Exprivia, an international group specialized in Information and Communication Technology – with a strong presence in Southern Italy – , participates in the campaign by organizing the Apulia CyberSecurity Forum, placing the human factor and training at the center of its event.

In fact, we are all worried about software and hardware vulnerabilities, but the human element is the vulnerability that is most often used by attackers

The event is in its second edition and will once again be streamed on November 9-10-11-12, 2021.

During the four days, it will be possible to hear the experiences of industry specialists who will discuss security as intrinsic value, regulations, IoT, AI, zero trust and threat intelligence.

Within the agenda of the CyberSecurity Forum, during the second day, Wednesday 10 November 2021 (at 3:30 PM Italian time), there will be a double interview with our CEO Sofia Scozzari and her husband, Andrea Zapparoli Manzoni, Director of Crowdfense, a UAE-based company that deals with Vulnerability Research Management.

Both well-known and active for over fifteen years in the world of Cyber Security, they will tell us about their experiences, starting from their marriage survived to such a particular profession.

Thanks to the interview by Domenico Raguseo, Head of Digital Factory CyberSecurity Exprivia, various topics will also be explored including the present and future of Cybercrime and Cyber Security, to understand their trends, but also to anticipate the next evolutions.

Operating in two completely different sectors of Cyber Security, Andrea and Sofia can offer a different but complementary vision of this complex area.

Without forgetting the importance of the human factor, especially in the presence of cyber attacks that increase year by year, both in terms of the frequency and the criticality and complexity of criminal operations.

As Sofia likes to repeat, when we talk about cyber attacks we must in fact consider ourselves as if we were walking in a hive: sooner or later it is inevitable to be stung.

It is important to be aware of this and to be well prepared.

Don’t miss the double interview!

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