The “Cyber Harbour” project by Enel, Planven and Nozomi Networks aims to transform Italy into a country of excellence in the field of cybersecurity. The initiative was presented at the Lingotto Conference Center in Turin on June 19, 2023, and was attended by the leading Italian actors in the sector.
The goal of the “Cyber Harbour” laboratory is to promote information security but also develop technologies and strengthen cooperation between companies and universities as well as between the public and private spheres. Thanks to this initiative, businesses, institutions and academic partners can now collaborate on projects and conferences on this subject as well as boost innovation, research, and the creation of startups.
This opportunity includes all sectors because cybersecurity is an issue that concerns the survival of all businesses. The project also aims to involve younger generations who would like to work in this field or collaborate with institutions.
Enel’s Head of Cyber Security (CISO), Yuri Rassega, explains that the idea is to catalyze visions and support from institutions and potential funders to make sure that cybersecurity is no longer seen as just a source of concern, but as a “huge opportunity.” Rassegaadds that it is important to remember that people are behind technologies and that collaboration, even with competitors, is fundamental for progress. “Cyber-risk has a human origin, and it has to be primarily solved with a human approach, and then with support from technology,” he explains. “In this sense, Italy has always shown that it has capable people. As Italians, we have the ability to see problems from different perspectives, and this can allow us to find solutions that a more rigid approach would not solve.”
When we talk about cybersecurity, therefore, we are also talking about people. This was emphasized by Moreno Carullo, co-founder and CTO of Nozomi Networks, a company working in cybersecurity since 2012, and a partner in the initiative. He says, “Mistakenly, people think that cybersecurity is only of interest to Israelis and Americans. However, we need to be aware that in Italy there are facilities, there are people, and we Italians are just as good.”
“This laboratory can represent a reference point for our country from where we can start,” continues Carullo. “Thanks to the project, researchers can have access to space and funding, including public funding, as well as gain national visibility and, perhaps in the future, international too.”
Chairman of Planven Entrepreneur Ventures and “Cyber Harbour” investor Rosario Bifulco spoke about how the problem of cybersecurity concerns us all. He said, “For years cybersecurity has been discussed as an economic issue related to cyber-attacks on companies. Instead, we should see it as a ‘public good’ to be protected because it affects national security. Today, only 67 of the top 500 companies in Europe invest in cybersecurity, but the market is growing and is estimated at $150 billion. With this initiative, we want to stimulate the development of this field because the technologies exist and should be exploited.”
Also present at the Lingotto meeting were Alessio Butti, Undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers for Innovation, and Luca Nicoletti, Head of the Industrial, Technological, Research and Training Programs Service of the National Cybersecurity Agency (ACN). The leaders reiterated the government’s willingness to invest in the sector.
“Whenever cybersecurity is discussed,it is a strategic area and politicians are aware that ‘prevention is better than cure.’ The government has a very strong interest in this area and therefore it is allocating significant amounts of money,”said Butti. He added Enel’s commitment to innovation, definedthe Cyber Harbour as a “facility we can only applaud.”
Luca Nicoletti explained how the goal of the ACN is “to help startups from a financial standpoint, put them in contact with an ecosystem of large companies like Enel, and test their technologies in the field.” He also pointed out that “the funds are there” and that the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre will allocate more than a billion euros over the next few years.
At the event, moderated by journalist Riccardo Luna, speeches were also given by: Carlo Bozzoli, Enel Head of Global Digital Solutions; Mario Bocchiola, Enel Head of Cyber Security Engineering & Architecture; Liviana Lotti, National Cybersecurity Agency Executive; Giovanni Canetta Roeder, Planven Entrepreneur Ventures Managing Partner; Andrea Carcano, Nozomi Networks CPO; Andrea Vesco, Links Foundation Head of Cybersecurity; and Antonio Lioy, Full Professor at Turin Polytechnic.