FINSEC project – Kick-off meeting (press release)

 

PRESS RELEASE

Cybersecurity for the financial sector
The European Commission funds the international research project FINSEC

 

MODENA, 05/06/2018 – The FINSEC(Integrated Framework for Predictive and Collaborative Security of Financial Infrastructures) research project – funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, and aimed at improving cybersecurity in the financial sector– has been officially launched in Brussels.

 

Banks and financial institutions have always been among the most attractive targets for malicious and criminal organisations.  The advent of the Internet further exacerbated this phenomenon, extending it to an ever-greater dimension, with 1.06 million of cyber-attacks detected in 2016 against the banking sector alone. The trend has further expanded in the last two years, which have seen a boom of cyber-attacks against the computer networks used by banks and financial institutions, as well as the SWIFT infrastructure, ATMs and POS.

 

As pointed out by Europol’s Director, Rob Wainwright, the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks “can threatenthe survival of several critical infrastructures, namely those linked to the financial and banking sector”. This scenario – the collapse of the economic backbone of any European country– would have devastating consequences, preventing citizens and companies from having access to their current accounts or making electronic payments. An example of that was set in the last few days, when the failure occurred in the VISA electronic network impeded millions of transactions.

 

The FINSEC research project comes within this context, aiming at developing a framework security architectureto provide financial stakeholders with an integrated management (both physical and cyber) of security. Such architecture will enable a quick reaction to attacks, promoting at the same time the collaboration between different stakeholders in evaluating and mitigating the risk over the entire financial supply chain.

 

FINSEC, which is coordinated by GFT Italia, involves 22 organisations from 9 European countries, including leading actors in the IT (Atos, IBM, Fujitsu, HP), as well as in the banking and financial sectors (Liberbank, Istituto Centrale della Banche Popolari, SIA, HDI). Amongst the Italian members of the consortium, a key role is played by Zanasi & Partners, a SME based in Modena, that over the years has managed to carve out a leading role in the field of European security and defence research.

 

The FINSEC project, which has been funded with 8 million euro by the European Commission, also envisages a return for the involved organisations. One of the goals consists in fact in the development of amarketplace for security services, which is an IT platform to be used by the organisations who develop innovative cybersecurity solutions under the FINSEC project to sell them – in the form of services – to banking and financial organisations.

 

 

FINSEC project

For further information on the FINSEC project: http://info.finsec-project.eu

 

Zanasi & Partners

Zanasi & Partners (Z&P) is a research and advisory company in the field of security and defence based in Modena. Its expertise includes big data analytics, cyber-security/cyber-defence, social media monitoring, threat, vulnerability and risk assessment. Among its clients, Z&P counts European Commission, ESA, ENISA, FRONTEX, CIRA, Siemens, GEDI Gruppo Editoriale, Booz&Co, as well as several ministries and government agencies falling under European countries and the MENA region.   

For further information on Z&P: http://www.zanasi-alessandro.eu

 


 

COMUNICATO STAMPA

Cybersecurity per il settore finanziario
La Commissione Europea finanzia il progetto di ricerca internazionale FINSEC

 

MODENA, 05/06/2018 – Avviato a Bruxelles il progetto di ricerca FINSEC(Integrated Framework for Predictive and Collaborative Security of Financial Infrastructures), finanziato dalla Commissione Europea nell’ambito del programma Horizon 2020 e dedicato al tema della cybersecurity nel settore finanziario.

 

Banche ed istituzioni finanziarie costituiscono da sempre bersagli tra i più appetibili per singoli ed organizzazioni criminali. L’avvento di Internet ha ulteriormente esacerbato tale fenomeno, estendendolo ad una dimensione mai rilevata fino ad oggi, con 1.06 milioni di attacchi informatici rivolti al settore bancario nel solo 2016. Nell’ultimo biennio il trend si è confermato in espansione, con un vero e proprio boom di cyberattacchi contro le reti informatiche su cui poggiano gli istituti bancari e finanziari, contro l’infrastruttura SWIFT che gestisce le transazioni interbancarie, ATM (i tradizionali “sportelli Bancomat”) e POS (ovvero i terminali per i pagamenti via carte elettroniche).

 

Come sottolineato dal direttore di Europol, Rob Wainwright, l’aumento nel livello di sofisticazione dei cyberattacchi “è in grado di minacciare la sopravvivenza stessa di diverse infrastrutture critiche, sicuramente quelle dei settori finanziario e bancario”. Tale scenario, ilcollasso della backboneeconomica di un Paese europeo, renderebbe impossibile l’accesso ai conti correnti e l’utilizzo di strumenti di pagamento elettronico da parte di cittadini ed imprese, con conseguenze devastanti. Un piccolo esempio ci è stato fornito proprio nei giorni scorsi, con il malfunzionamento verificatosi nella rete telematica di VISA, che ha impedito milioni di transazioni.

 

Il progetto di ricerca FINSEC interviene in questo contesto, ponendosi l’obiettivo di sviluppare un’architettura di riferimento per la sicurezza, che ne permetta agli attori del mondo finanziario la gestione integrata (sia fisica che cyber). Tale architettura renderà possibile reagire tempestivamente agli attacchi, promuovendo al tempo stesso la collaborazione tra diversi stakeholder nel valutare e mitigare il rischio nell’ambito dell’intera financial supply chain.

 

FINSEC, coordinato da GFT Italia, vede la partecipazione di 22 organizzazioni provenienti da 9 Paesi europei, tra cui leader dell’informatica (Atos, IBM, Fujitsu, HP) e dei settori bancario e finanziario (Liberbank, Istituto Centrale della Banche Popolari, SIA, HDI). Tra i partner italiani che fanno parte del consorzioun ruolo chiave è ricoperto da Zanasi & Partners, PMI con sede a Modena, che negli anni si è affermata quale importante attore nel settore della ricerca europea in materia di sicurezza e difesa.

 

Il progetto FINSEC, che ha ricevuto un finanziamento di 8 milioni di euro dalla Commissione Europea, prevede anche un ritorno economico per le organizzazioni coinvolte. Uno degli obiettivi è infatti quello di sviluppare un marketplace per servizi di sicurezza, ovvero una piattaforma IT attraverso la quale leorganizzazioni che nell’ambito di FINSEC hanno sviluppato innovative soluzioni di cybersecurity potranno commercializzarle, sotto forma di servizi, alle organizzazioni del mondo bancario e finanziario interessate.

 

Progetto FINSEC

Per ulteriori informazioni sul progetto FINSEC: http://info.finsec-project.eu

 

Zanasi & Partners

Zanasi & Partners (Z&P) è una società di ricerca e consulenza in materia di sicurezza e difesa di sede a Modena. Tra le proprie competenze: big data analytics, cyber-security/cyber-defence, social media monitoring, threat, vulnerability e risk assessment.

Z&P annovera tra i suoi clienti: Commissione Europea, ESA, ENISA, FRONTEX, CIRA, Siemens, GEDI Gruppo Editoriale, Booz&Co, oltre a diversi ministeri ed agenzie governative facenti capo a Paesi europei, mediorientali e nordafricani.

Per ulteriori informazioni su Z&P: http://www.zanasi-alessandro.eu

The PYTHIA project kicks-off

The PYTHIA research project has officially kicked-off. The kick-off meeting was held on the 14th March 2018 at the headquarters of the European Defence Agency, with the presence of EDA’s Chief Executive Mr. Jorge Domecq.
 

Representatives from the organisations participating to the PYTHIA research project pose for a photographic session with EDA’s Chief Executive Mr. Jorge Domecq

 

The PYTHIA (Predictive methodologY for TecHnology Intelligence Analysis) research project, funded by the European Defence Agency within the context of the PADR programme (EU Preparatory Action for Defence Research) is dedicated to the theme of Strategic Technology Foresight. The project aims to support strategic technology foresight of individual Member States and of the EU as a whole in the defence domain by performing joint technology foresight activities supported by methodologies such as horizon scanning, technology watch, scientometric tools and expert consultations. It also focuses on identifying emerging defence research areas for potential exploration in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework.

 

Zanasi & Partners covers the role of scientific and technical coordinator of the whole project.

Zanasi & Partners @ SMI2G 2018

Zanasi & Partners has attended SMI2G 2018, the traditional meeting of the European security research community, which takes place yearly in Brussels. The 2018 edition – sponsored by EARTO, SEREN3 and EOS – was hosted by the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and ran on the 1st and 2nd February.

 

 

During the event, Z&P’s Fabio RUINI presented three project ideas that Zanasi & Partners intends to further develop in the coming months, targeting the 2018 calls of the H2020 Secure Societies work programme (topics SU-BES02 sub-topic 1SU-DRS01 and SU-DRS02 sub-topic 1).

SAFFRON Final Workshop (Brussels, 24th-25th January 2018)

VISEO, and the whole consortium behind the EC-funded SAFFRON project (Semantic Analysis against Foreign Fighters Recruitment Online Network), organise in Brussels a workshop titled “3 facets of radicalisation through the looking glass”.


The event is organised in collaboration with other EC-funded research projects: TRIVALENT (Terrorism pRevention Via rAdicaLisation countEr-NarraTives), PRACTICIES (Partnership against violent radicalization in the cities) and RISKTRACK (Tracking tool based on social media for risk assessment on radicalisation).

 

Zanasi & Partners will be represented at the event by Z&P’s president Alessandro ZANASI, who will take part to a round table discussion dedicated to “Radicalisation and Internet”. Participants to the round table include representatives from Romanian National Intelligence Academy (MVNIA), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci, Youth ID, and Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.

 

The agenda of the event can be found below:

Zanasi & Partners technical and scientific coordinator of the EDA-backed defence research project PYTHIA

The European Defence Agency has officially announced the signing of a Grant Agreement – worth nearly €1 million – for the Strategic Technology Foresight action to be carried out under the EU Preparatory Action in the field of defence research.

The Grant Agreement has been signed between EDA and the Italian-led consortium behind the project proposal PYTHIA (Predictive methodologY for TecHnology Intelligence Analysis).

The PYTHIA project, which will see Zanasi & Partners covering the role of technical and scientific coordinator, is expected to kick-off in February 2018 and will last for 18 months.

 

EDA press release

First EU Preparatory Action project signed for €0.95 million

 

Brussels – 08 January, 2018

A grant agreement worth a total of €0.95 million was signed on 20 December 2017 for the Strategic Technology Foresight action to be carried out under the EU Preparatory Action in the field of defence research. The grant agreement was signed between the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the winning consortium led by Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A.

The Strategic Technology Foresight action was selected following an EU-wide call for proposals organised by the European Defence Agency between 7 June and 28 September 2017. The action aims to support strategic technology foresight of individual Member States and of the EU as a whole in the defence domain by performing joint technology foresight activities supported by methodologies such as horizon scanning, technology watch, scientometric tools and expert consultations. It focuses on identifying emerging defence research areas for potential exploration in the next Multi-annual Financial Framework.

The Strategic Technology Foresight activity is part of the Preparatory Action, aimed at assessing and demonstrating the added value of EU-supported defence research and technology (R&T). The relevant results are expected to further deepen European defence cooperation, address capability shortfalls, and strengthen European defence stakeholders.

The foundations for the Preparatory Action were laid in 2016 with the successful launch of a Pilot Project on Defence Research.

The signature marks an important step in EU defence integration and paves the way for the launch of a fully-fledged European Defence Research Programme (EDRP) as part of the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).  The next step will be the signature of the grant agreements related to the Unmanned Systems and the Research in technology and products in the context of Force Protection and Soldier Systems calls for proposals, which are scheduled to take place in 2018.

All of them – Pilot Project, Preparatory Action and the future European Defence Research Programme – should support R&T serving capability priorities identified by Member States in the Capability Development Plan and be taken up in future collaborative capability programmes.

The challenges posed by cyber security and the answers from the European Union: the key role played by research

An article written by Zanasi & Partners’ CEO, Mr. Alessandro ZANASI, and dedicated to the cyber security research initiatives launched by the European Union in the latest years, has been published today on ICT Security Magazine.

 

 

Alessandro Zanasi provides a comprehensive overview of the main cyber security challenges that the European Union has been facing in the latest years and, at the same times, describes the most relevant research initiatives that have been launched for responding to those challenges. A particular emphasis is put on some of the most successful research projects backed by the European Commission and its Directorate General: SCADALAB, CloudCERT, SECRET, iSAR+ and SOTERIA. The article also introduces two new themes of sure interest for the future of European research: on the one hand the need for enhancing the cyber-security posture of the European financial sector; on the other hand – in the light of the future risk scenarios introduced by rapidly evolving modern technologies – the need for improving the strategic technology foresight capabilities of the defence sector.

 

The article can be found at this link. A PDF version can be downloaded from here.

BODEGA project – consortium meeting in Paris

Kindly hosted by CEA in its headquarters, representatives from all the European organisations part of the BODEGA consortium have met in Paris from the 27th to the 29th November 2017 in order to assess the work carried out so far and make plans for the future activities to be performed.

Zanasi & Partners was represented in Paris by Fabio RUINI, coordinator of Z&P’s research activities, and Alessandro BONZIO, Z&P’s project manager for BODEGA. Within the BODEGA project, Zanasi & Partners is currently involved in the development of an innovative solution – based on Big Data Analytics techniques – for the (early) risk assessment of incoming travellers at border crossing points. The meeting gave Z&P the opportunity to present the latest developments on this topic, as well as to get expert feedback from the end-users, most notably from representatives of Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli and the Finnish Border Guard Agency.

Z&P’s CEO Alessandro Zanasi delivered a speech at the conference on “The challenges of radicalization: the role of the institutions, religious communities and civil society”

Zanasi & Partners’ CEO, Mr. Alessandro ZANASI, delivered a speech during the conference “The challenges of radicalization: the role of the institutions, religious communities and civil society”, organised in Rome within the context of the TRIVALENT project.

 

 

During his speech, titled “A journey into the use of social media for security purposes“, Mr. Zanasi presented the  opportunities that Big Data analytics (and text mining technology in particular) offers to law enforcement agencies dealing with the task of preventing violent radicalisation.

The challenges of radicalization: the role of the institutions, religious communities and civil society (Rome, 24th November 2017)

Zanasi & Partners, as participant to the European security research project TRIVALENT, is delighted to invite you to the conference titled “Europe and the challenges of radicalisation: what answers?”.

 

The conference will take place on the 24th of November 2017, from 9:00AM to 1:45 PM, at the “Aula Magna” of the Università Roma 3 (Viale Ostiense, 159) in Rome, according to the below agenda.

 

 

 

TRIVALENT (Terrorism pReventIon Via rAdicaLisation countEr-NarraTive), funded by the European Commission under the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme, is carried out by an international consortium comprising 22 organisations (including 12 police forces) representing 10 different countries. Aim of the project is to study the violent radicalisation phenomenon, as it takes places both on line and within penitentiaries, and to develop tools for contrasting it, including the production of ad hoc counter-narratives.

 

Background

The repeated acts of terrorist violence in Europe, increasingly perceived by the public as a lingering threat, alongside the crisis of integration models coupled with intolerance and xenophobia, and the spread of trends dominated by fears and insecurities, pose a series of new challenges to European institutions and Member States in terms of internal security, cohesion and social stability. To address and successfully contrast those challenges – originating from a plurality of contexts and environments – it is necessary to develop responses that combine appropriate repressive measures with innovative preventive practices based upon the analysis and management of the causes and manifestations of the radicalization to violent extremism, through the close collaboration of all actors involved, including in particular the institutions, communities affected by ongoing radicalization processes and civil society organizations.

 

Goals

The TRIVALENT project, with the firm commitment to promote integration, inter-cultural dialogue and respect of fundamental rights, aims to contribute to the debate and propose policies for the prevention of the radicalization to violent extremism in all areas that can become places of diffusion of the phenomenon and in which signs of attention to the dangers associated with it can arise, in order to define appropriate tools of early warning, together with the development of effective intervention policies, as regards also with new skills and training patterns.

 

Purposes

The main purpose of the conference, in addition to ensuring a greater visibility and dissemination of the ongoing research activities, will be to create synergies between project participants and relevant stakeholders (civil society, institutions, experts) in order to better focus objectives and methods of the research in progress. The conference will be divided into two thematic workshops according to the attached programme.

 

PROGRAMME

 

– 9:00-9:30: Welcome greetings & opening speeches
Luca Pietromarchi, President University “Roma Tre”
Gennaro Migliore, Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (tbc)
Noemi di Segni, President “Unione Comunità Ebraiche Italiane” (UCEI)
Abdellah Redouane, Secretary General “Centro Islamico Culturale d’Italia”

– 9:30-11:30: Roots and contexts of violent radicalization in general and as regards young people: early warning, preventive measures, and related policies.
Focus: Early detection and prevention of radicalization risks and threats, in general and with regard in particular to schools, universities and territories (communities), as well as in the web (social media), as places where values, lifestyles, world views, opinions should be confronted without any sort of violence, through dialogue, confrontation of ideas, and the participation in public life activities, with the aim to develop innovative methods and tools for countering such risks and threats.

Chair: Masimo Abdallah Cozzolino, Chairman TRIVALENT Advisory Board

Contributions:
Cristina Caparesi, Gruppo di lavoro della Commissione Europea “First-line Deradicalisation Practitioners”
Stefano Gatti, Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea
Francesco Antonelli, University “Roma Tre”
Harith Alani, Open University, London
Alessandro Zanasi, Zanasi & Partners
Fares Braizat, Nama Strategic Intelligence Solutions (Jordan)
Discussion

– 11:30-11:45: coffee break

– 11:45-13:45: Radicalization in prisons and prevention/deradicalisation programmes, counter/alternative narratives, and new skills for LEAs’ personnel and civil society stakeholders.
Focus: Acknowledging experiences concerning prevention and deradicalisation programmes addressed to radicalised individuals or at risk of radicalisation, as regards in particular detention places, shaping counter- or alternative narratives to radicalization, and developing new skills for LEAs’ personnel and civil society stakeholders.

Chair: Luigi Moccia, TRIVALENT Project Coordinator

Contributions:
Bartolomeo Conti, Centre d’Analyse et d’Intervention Sociologiques (CADIS, EHESS-CNRS)
Mohammed Khaled Rhazzali, University of Padova
Barbara Napelli, Marco Capitani, Direzione Generale della Formazione (DAP)
Marco Lombardi, Barbara Lucini, Catholic University “Sacro Cuore”, Milano
Peter Muyshondt, Lokale Politie Voorkempen, Belgium
Luca Zigiotti, Francesco Di Bacco, Città di Torino (Local Police)
Italo Trento, Direttore Fondazione Intelligence Culture and Strategic Analysis (ICSA)
Discussion

 

* Simultaneous Italian<->English translation available