Leonardo’s commitment to disseminating cyber expertise

07 November 2022

There is a growing demand in Italy and throughout the world for professionals capable of ensuring cyber protection. In an interview to Secolo XIX, Stefano Bordi, Director of the Cyber & Security Academy, takes stock of the facilities’ activities six months after opening and announces two new initiatives that confirm Leonardo’s commitment to promoting key skills for the country’s secure technological development.

In the next three years, around 3.5 million cyber-security jobs will remain uncovered worldwide, while in Italy, around 100,000 new cyber-security experts will be needed both in business and in public administration. We are talking about key competences for the country and for Europe as a whole, to ensure secure technological development and strategic digital autonomy.

In order to develop the new skills needed to recognise, understand and address cyber threats, last April Leonardo launched Cyber & Security Academy. This European centre of excellence offers the security professionals - and not only - of strategic institutions, businesses and infrastructures training experiences based on Leonardo's comprehensive approach to cyber security.

The Cyber & Security Academy is a key tool for spreading a security culture and expertise (an essential fact when you think that 85% of cyber breaches result from human error) throughout the economic and social ecosystem.

These are precisely the considerations underlying two new initiatives revolving around Leonardo's Cyber & Security Academy: the agreement with Ausind a Confindustria Genova service company, to offer cyber security courses to more than 800 member SMEs, and the opening of enrolments for the first, entirely free “Higher education cyber security course”, aimed at young people aged 18 to 30, which will kick off in January 2023 and will be held by Leonardo’s Academy.

The agreement with Ausind aims to offer cyber security courses to SMEs, helping them protect themselves against cyber attacks. This can be a particularly alarming danger for small businesses, which are less equipped to address threats and are particularly vulnerable to crises. Moreover, SMEs are often used by cybercriminals to reach larger companies and institutions through attacks to the supply chain.

Six months after opening the Cyber & Security Academy, enrolments for the first “Higher education cyber security course” are now open. The aim of the course will be to increase young people's skills in this sphere and help them understand their potential, also with a view to a possible career path within Leonardo. The course will last 240 hours and access to the course will be preceded by an assessment of the candidates' basic level of training so as to create classes with participants with a similar background. Interested students can write to cyberandsecurityacademy@leonardo.com sending their curriculum vitae or a presentation of themselves, their study path and why they would like to participate in the course organised by Leonardo. More information on the course can be found here Higher education cyber security course.

Leonardo’s skills-enhancing strategy also focuses on strengthening collaborations within the education system, a key element for developing skills and recruiting talent, as well as for creating and maintaining an increasingly open approach to innovation. Physical and cyber security, combined, constitute one of the ten key technology areas identified by Leonardo in mapping the company's long-term skills so as to support its competitiveness going forward.

This strategy encompasses an extensive schedule of initiatives with Universities and Institutes of Technology aimed at ensuring that educational programmes take into account the specialisation needs of businesses.

During these first few months of operation, the Academy has delivered security awareness courses to more than 5,000 participants, while a further 15,000 courses have already been booked. With over 300 courses available in various application fields, held nationally and internationally with a view to training both specialist resources and young enthusiasts, Leonardo sets out to support secure digitisation and the development of a safety culture at all levels.