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Cyber Security and Digital Economy: Challenges, Threats and Opportunities from Cyberspace

A conference on “Cyber Security and Digital Economy: Challenges, Threats and Opportunities from Cyberspace” was held yesterday at the Embassy of Italy in the UK, organised in partnership with the Italian Trade Agency, with the support of the Centre for Cybersecurity and International-Relations Studies (CCSIRS)of the University of Florence.

The conference was the first event in an integrated plan for the promotion of Italy’s cybersecurity sector abroad, run by the Security Intelligence Department of the Republic, part of the Italian Prime Minister’s Office, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the latter in its role as a member of the Unit with responsibility for coordinating the promotional programme. The event was also part of the “Italy4Innovation” series launched by the embassy last month.

Cybersecurity is increasingly important both for citizens and for public and private organisations, and the sector in Italy is in a period of rapid growth, both among businesses and in the academic field. London was chosen as the location for this conference in part because the UK was one of the first countries to address the issue and set up measures to manage it.

Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta gave an opening speech in which he highlighted the need for an inclusive, constructive approach to cybersecurity, explaining that well-managed public-private partnerships and active involvement by all stakeholders can generate significant value, transforming risks into opportunities for businesses. Carmine America, the counsellor for security and international affairs at the Ministry of Economic Development, highlighted the Italian government’s focus on developing the digital economy and explained the importance of strengthening international links and collaboration on cross-border issues such as cybersecurity.

The event gave a broad overview of the issue of cybersecurity. The first session had a more institutional focus, presenting the cybersecurity infrastructure in Italy and the UK. This was followed by pitches by 16 Italian businesses, including start-ups, SMEs and larger companies, who presented their projects and approaches to an audience of British companies, institutions and other potential investors looking to invest in innovative Italian businesses.

There was then a panel discussion with members of the Italian and British academic worlds and representatives of major companies in the financial, IT and communications sectors, who shared considerations and strategies to counter cybersecurity risks in their respective fields. The final session was a series of B2B meetings between Italian businesses and their British counterparts.

Italy4Innovation #i4i

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