Cyber ​​4.0 in defense of small and medium-sized companies

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«We want to become a point of reference for small and medium-sized businesses regarding information security». Speaking is Matteo Lucchetti, director of Cyber ​​4.0, previewing to Sole24Ore the initiatives of the competence center he leads. It is one of the 8 highly specialized competence centers recognized and financed by the Ministry of Business and Made in Italy, a public-private partnership, led by the La Sapienza University of Rome, which includes more than 45 members from the world from universities and research, from public institutions, from the private world – large companies and specialized small and medium-sized enterprises, associations and foundations.

The competence center, based in Rome, carries out activities to strengthen the skills of businesses and public administration, developing training initiatives, advisory and orientation programs, and promoting research and innovation projects. The structure was established in response to the ministry’s 2019 announcement, but has actually been operational since 2021, also due to Covid. In the two-year period 2021-2023 it managed 6.2 million in co-financing (this is aid for projects that companies have already decided to finance) to promote innovation in cybersecurity towards small and medium-sized businesses. This figure will rise to 15 million in the two-year period 2023-2025.

The last tender launched was the one closed at the end of last September: 2.6 million for industrial research and experimental development projects in four areas: Cybersecurity Core, Aerospace, Automotive, e-Health. «We had 23 proposals – explains Lucchetti – and now we are in the selection phase: we will identify between the 8 and 10 best. The list of projects we will finance should arrive at the end of December.” In the previous two calls, a total of 2.2 million co-financing, 14 initiatives had been co-financed. «With previous tenders we could finance a maximum of 200 thousand euros per single project. With the new tenders we have risen to 400 thousand euros.” Now the goal of Cyber ​​4.0 is to create within the next two years «a shared platform for small and medium-sized businesses, with a first level of access to mitigate risks and a second value-added level with more technical operational services, such as incident management and threat monitoring. Also developing an exchange of information with the police.”

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