Cybersecurity, the Census-DeepCyber alarm: "40% of Italians are defenseless"

The data of the Study Center: higher attention among graduates, but a quarter of the sample does not even know the meaning of cyber security. President De Rita: "The protection of everyone's freedom is at stake" 22 Apr 2022 Antonello Salerno

"The popular digital life, now at the center of our lives, coincides with the height of cyber insecurity. Thus the many cyber-insecurities are juxtaposed with the more traditional ones, with the risk of amplifying the systematic uncertainty of our time. In this context, cybersecurity must be understood not only as a highly innovative strategic industrial sector, but a new social culture in which citizens, companies and institutions protect the safety and freedom of all by protecting themselves from cyber attacks ". Giuseppe De Rita, president of Census, says this when presenting the first Census-DeepCyber report on the value of cybersecurity, from which it emerges - in a nutshell - that although Italians are generally worried about cyberattacks, four out of ten do nothing to protect themselves from these risks.

"The research - adds Gerardo Costabile, CEO of DeepCyber - emphasizes the human factor, often underestimated in the posture of cybersecurity. The most evident data is that relating to the lack of awareness and effectiveness of safety measures by people with less education and culture. It appears essential, starting from schools but also in companies and public administration, to include cybersecurity, together with basic information technology, as pillars for the necessary digital culture, regardless of present or future professional role ". Index of topics • Research data • Franco Gabrielli: "the national cybersecurity strategy soon" • Roberto Baldoni: "Digital sovereignty goal" • Adolfo Urso: "Italy needs strategic autonomy" Research data The aspect that emerges most strongly from the Census study is - we said - that four out of ten Italians do nothing to protect themselves from attacks or scams that travel on the Internet, with the attention that progressively grows among people who have qualifications of study higher. 61.6% of the sample are concerned about IT security and consequently use some precautions to defend themselves on their Internet-connected devices. Of these, 82% use software and apps, and 18% turn to an expert. On the other hand, 28.1%, while expressing concerns, do not adopt specific measures to defend themselves, and 10.3% are not even worried about hackers. Graduates are the most attentive (69%), while only 49.4% of those with a secondary school leaving certificate show awareness of the risks. As for the term cybersecurity itself, only a quarter of Italians know its exact meaning, while 58.6% are broadly aware of it and 17.1% have never heard of it. In this case, the most aware are young people (35.5%), graduates (33.4%), entrepreneurs (35.4%) and executives (27.7%). Analyzing what happens in the field of training, 39.7% of the employees in the sample say that they have received specific training on cyber risks in the company, but the percentage increases to 56.8% if the field is restricted to top positions . Faced with these numbers, 65.9% of workers say they are willing to participate in training initiatives on cyber security. Focusing on the slice of people who have suffered cyber attacks in the form of deceptive e-mails to extract sensitive personal information, we are talking about 64.6% of the sample, which rises to 75.6% if we consider only young people and 83% if the field is restricted to executives. Among other phenomena related to IT security, 44.9% of the interviewees suffered a "virus" infection on their personal computer (53.3% for young people, 56.2% for employed persons), while 14 , 3% have undergone the cloning of their credit or debit card and 17.2% have noticed purchases made online by others in their own name. Turning to privacy violations, 13.8% of the sample suffered from them, whether it was personal data theft or unauthorized sharing of photos or videos. As for cyberbullying, 28.2% say they have been subjected to online offenses, teasing or aggression via social media or instant messaging platforms. Finally, the most widespread fears: 81.7% of Italians are afraid of being the victim of theft and violation of their personal data on the web. Franco Gabrielli: "the national cybersecurity strategy soon" "Prime Minister Mario Draghi will soon adopt the national cyber security strategy 2022-2026: it is a bumpy path, we must also overcome a cultural gap and we are working on it". Fran said so co Gabrielli, authority delegated to the security of the Republic, during the press conference in the Senate for the presentation of the Census-DeepCyber report. "When Minister Vittorio Colao, who is not a fool - continues Gabrielli - says that 95% of public servers do not comply with safety standards, we realize the size of the problem".

"Since February 24, we have not registered significant increases in cyber attacks in our country which in any case occur daily - he adds - At the moment, therefore, the Ukrainian affair has not raised the level of attacks, but this does not mean that there will not be in the future and that our infrastructures will not be attacked ”. "It is positive that an institute like Censis has focused attention on the issue of awareness of cyber risk: if you are not aware of the risk it is in fact difficult to remedy it - concludes Gabrielli - We must increasingly imagine that the cyber domain is not something different from us, it belongs to us, innervates and conditions our life. With devices, life is simpler but also more vulnerable. In Italy there is often an Alice in Wonderland attitude. The path is very long, and the condition of our country's infrastructures, both in the public and in the private sector, is not the best. There is a deficit of skilled labor and we also have little responsible attitudes ". Roberto Baldoni: "Digital sovereignty goal" “We need to aim for digital sovereignty. We have relied for too long on technologies that were provided to us by others, and it is necessary to reverse this trend - explains Roberto Baldoni, director of the National Cybersecurity Agency - ``We must reach points of strategic autonomy and an effort by the whole country is needed " .

“From the Census-DeepCyber report it emerges that 40% of Italians do nothing concrete for cyber security and this is a worrying fact - he continues - like crossing a road during a heavy traffic flow without looking at who is arriving. The risk must be known and managed ". Then a passage on the lack of skills: "One of the most sought after professional profiles today is that of a cybersecurity expert - he explains - In the world there are three million open positions in this field, for this reason it is and will be extremely important to invest in the skills of our young''. Adolfo Urso: "Italy needs strategic autonomy" "We need to aim for strategic autonomy in the field of cyber security and the digital economy, with complete production chains in our continent or, in any case, within Western democracies''. This is the analysis of Adolfo Urso, president of Copasir, in his speech at the presentation of the Census-DeepCyber report. "Each of us - he continues - is a volunteer in the protection of his digital space, he must close his own house well, protect his digital domain". The most fearful risks, according to the Copasir president, come from authoritarian systems, such as Russian, which is the best equipped in cyber warfare. Globalization and technology have become strengths of these systems in an attempt to subdue Western democracies. We need to be aware of the challenge ".