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2022 News-EN

WHY CYBER SECURITY IS ONE OF THE BEST INVESTMENTS IN YOUR FUTURE

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WHY CYBER SECURITY IS ONE OF THE BEST INVESTMENTS IN YOUR FUTURE

Recently I was so lucky to have the opportunity to speak at the third edition of “99eLode“, a training organized by Fastweb Digital Academy, Cariplo Factory and iO Donna, the weekly magazine of Corriere della Sera.

Designed for 99 recent graduates waiting to understand what to do with their future, the purpose of the training was to provide information about the most requested digital skills on the market.

Among these, Cyber Security, which I described with Women For Security colleagues, taking into consideration not only the technical, but also the legal, marketing and communication aspects.

So, why is Cyber Security one of the best investments for your future?

Here are 3 good reasons.

  1. Fighting cybercrime will always be a priority

    Cybercrime caused $6 trillion of damages in 2021, the double of the amount of six years earlier.

    And it’s expected that in the next 3 years the cost for Cybercrime will exceed $10, with an exponential trend.

    Moreover, for some years now, the profits of cybercrime have exceeded those of the drug market, so that several criminal organizations are deciding to invest in this sector.

    The overall effect is that cyber defenses will face ever more numerous and aggressive enemies.

    Cyber Security will become and will remain a priority to protect individuals, organizations and also nations.


  2. There is a great shortage of jobs in the Cyber Security field

    From 2013 to 2021 we have seen a growth of 350% in Cyber Security jobs, a trend never seen before.

    There are currently 3.5 million cybersecurity job vacancies globally, 400,000 in Europe alone.

    In 2014, vacancies globally were “only” 1 million.

    Basically, there is no unemployment for those who decide to work in the Cyber Security sector (and it has been like that since 2011!)


  3. Not only Cyber Security “technicians” are needed

    Certainly, the technical jobs of Cyber Security are important.

    Penetration Testers, Malware Analyst, Vulnerability Researchers and many others are key roles in this industry.

    But they are not the only needed functions.

    Important roles equally must be able to manage the legal issues, privacy, regulatory compliance, the governance of cyber security.

    As well as project management, marketing, communication, pre and post-sales aspects, training, etc…
Cyber Security, ultimately, does not only concern those with technical skills but those who are able to commit themselves with their specific skills and abilities to protect companies, organizations and institutions from the threats and risks of the cyber world in constant increase.

Good job!

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2021 News-EN

CYBER SECURITY AND DIGITAL REPUTATION

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CYBER SECURITY AND DIGITAL REPUTATION

Cyber attacks are always on the rise and they are growing not only in frequency but also in criticality.

In fact, cyber criminals continuously evolve their attack techniques, finding all the possible weaknesses of their victims or exploiting hot topics (as happened for the Covid-19 themed attacks at the beginning of the pandemic).

So what do Cyber Security and Digital Reputation have in common?

First of all, hiding a cyber attack becomes more difficult.

If it is not the company that admits it openly, in some cases, particularly in the case of ransomware, it is the criminal himself who communicates it on dedicated websites or even to journalists, in order to increase media pressure and multiply the chances of obtaining the payment of the ransom.

On one hand, we are now all more exposed to cyber attacks, and therefore the reputational damage due to the admission of having been victims of them is less than in the past.

But on the other hand, managing the emergency badly can have important repercussions.

Denying the attack and then colliding with the evidence, such as a data leak from the attacker, can be much worse.

Therefore, it is better to learn how to properly manage communications in the event of cyber attacks, rather than denying or taking time.

How then to prevent an attack?

As for prevention, however, things get complicated.

We are in fact exposed to different types of cyber attacks.

While most of the attacks (about 40%) are now perpetrated through Malware, and in particular Ransomware, a good part (about 25%) is carried out using techniques that remain unknown.

Furthermore, Vulnerabilities (known but also unknown, as in the case of 0day, or problems not yet in the public domain for which there is no patch to be applied to the systems) and techniques such as Phishing and Social Engineering continue to have some success.

But how to defend yourself?

In the case of generic Malware, antimalware solutions can offer an effective defense.

But, in the case of ransomware, the phenomenon of double extortion, i.e. the second ransom asked by criminals in order not to disclose stolen data before encrypting corporate systems, complicates things.

The choice for the victim is between paying a criminal or facing the media pillory for failing to adequately protect sensitive data entrusted to them.

To defend against known Vulnerabilities, the only solution is to periodically check the systems in search of problems or mis-configurations that must be found and resolved promptly.

The attack surface of a company can be very large and it would be good to carry out checks of this kind at least once a year, or even better, every 6 months.

Against Phishing and Social Engineering, on the other hand, we can find an effectively defense only through awareness courses for employees and collaborators.

In fact, by constantly refining their attack methods, criminals sometimes make it difficult to recognize threats.

Developing a cautious attitude, being aware of these types of risks and knowing the latest threat examples is the only effective way to decrease the success rate of these attacks.

Finally, it is important to understand that the threats are different, there is no single type of cyber attack.

Who are the victims?

In the same way, the victims are not all the same, but they differ by product sector, size, geographical distribution, attack surface.

For this reason, there cannot be a single universally valid solution, but the organizational and technological solutions must be targeted and customized in order to multiply their effectiveness.

 

Thanks to the cyber attack classification activity that Hackmanac has been carrying out for 10 years, we can help companies understand which threats they are most exposed to and how to optimize security budgets to manage them more effectively and cost-effectively.

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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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