Cybertech 2019: many words and many good intentions. But the war has already been going on for years ...

(To Francesco Rugolo)

In an important period for digital innovation and growth in Italy and throughout Europe, Cybertech, as for the past four years, has reaffirmed itself as the main European event related to information security and other related issues.

Like every year, the conference was presented by Rai journalist Barbara Carfagna and chaired by important guests, including Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, Gene Reznik of Accenture, Rohit Ghai, president of RSA, Angelo Tofalo, undersecretary of state at Defense, and others belonging to large organizations and companies in the sector.

There were also banking institutions, universities and energy companies, all united by the common purpose of facing and fighting one real cyber war against an enemy that, while not showing the face or its intent, represents a threat more than tangible in our reality.

In recent years, cybercrime has seen growth that we could never have foreseen a decade ago and Angelo Tofalo, during his speech, spoke about the European situation but above all about the situation in our country. Starting with the Monti decree, and then moving on to the Gentiloni decree to date, Italy has made significant progress, according to the words of the undersecretary of defense, and recently, this September's 19, saw the creation of the Cyber ​​national security perimeter. The challenge will become even greater in the coming months for the creation of new standards in which Italy will have to act as a spokesperson and play a key role.

Again according to Angelo Tofalo, not only Italy but all of Europe must work together and collaborate, both institutions and private companies. In a scenario in which great powers such as the United States of America and China have already been mobilized for years in this field, the destiny of Europe is to remain crushed between the two powers or re-emerge as a leader, but this may happen only with a close collaboration between the states of the Union, using his words: we must "team up".

A term that repeatedly appeared during the conference was "attack surface" or "attack surface". Nowadays every device is connected to the network and often we talk about IoT (Internet of things), this has caused a drastic increase in vulnerabilities, but the security of devices and networks has not grown at the same pace and now we are all paying the consequences.

Nowadays 79% of companies are not responding adequately to the security needs of their customers, creating new vulnerabilities. This factor causes a "trust" problem. What we must avoid, according to Accenture's Gene Reznik, is the loss of trust from users towards the services that every day become more and more part of their lives, this could put the global market at risk, for a total of about 5.2 trillion dollars of losses every year.

Not only dangers for individual users or companies, but also for governments and institutions. APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) are also mentioned during the conference, the way to define attacks usually against large companies, states or groups of activists, often sponsored by other governments that hide behind them.

The damages brought by these campaigns can be of image, financial or data theft and espionage for political purposes. Marco Preuss of Kaspersky talks about it, about the 100 APTs that are known about 15 today are uniquely commercial and target any target, while the others are private or led by governments. To cite one of the most famous Apt attacks, the one carried out against Iranian nuclear plants that thanks to the use of a sophisticated malware managed to drastically slow down the searches for months. The attack was attributed to an APT group of Israeli / American origin.

Not only greater attack surface, but also less reaction time, this is one of the biggest problems faced in cybersecurity. The attackers not only become smarter but also faster, an attack on a company's network is dealt with on average within a few weeks, a too long period of time, as the network is compromised in a matter of hours and data stolen long before the attack is foiled or even discovered.

Many other topics were covered during the numerous conferences held in these two days, a real one full immersion in the world of cybersecurity, thanks to the interventions of industry experts and the presence of large companies that are shaping the future of computer security.

Cybertech renews the invitation to interested parties for the next meetings, the last year of the 26-27 November in Tokyo.

Photo: Defense Online / Twitter