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Interview with Roberto Sandrini from Region Veneto: “Insights from a HARPOCRATES Threat Intelligence Demonstrator”



3.11.2023 10:48



    In this interview, we talk with Roberto Sandrini from Veneto Region, Italy, one of the HARPOCRATES Threat Intelligence Demonstrators. We’ll explore their part in boosting cybersecurity and how Harpocrates addresses challenges in public administration cybersecurity.

    Briefly present yourself and your organization and role in the project. 

    Veneto Region is the regional authority for the Veneto Region (about 5 Millions inhabitants), located in the North-East of Italy. The Office involved in HARPOCRATES is ICT and Digital Agenda Department. The office, in charge of the ICT services and the (open) data (portal) is in charge of supporting the Public and private sector for the quantity, quality and exploitation of data. Additionally, it cooperates with the Office in charge of the security of the region.

    I am Roberto Sandrini, expert for Veneto Region, in charge of the technical support for the HARPOCRATES Project.


      What challenges does your local authority face in terms of cybersecurity and how will the Harpocrates project address them?

      SANDRINI: to monitor the cyber threats and respect the privacy and the confidentiality of the employees. To train the regional staff to monitor potential threats and react promptly.


      How does your local authority contribute to the Harpocrates project and what is its goal?

      SANDRINI. We are involved in one “use case” demonstration concerning the monitoring of cyber threats jointly with the respect of the privacy of people detected.


      Can you explain how Privacy Preserving Machine Learning (PPML) techniques will facilitate sharing of threat intelligence between your authority and the other participating authority?

      SANDRINI: the PPML will support Veneto Region to overcome all confidential issues and constantly monitor the web-activities of the employees to detect potential threats and promplty react to them.The activity will be implemented in strict collaboration with SARGA, a spanish regional authority and with the support of the S2, private company in charge for the flow of data and the monitoring of threats.


      What benefits do you expect Harpocrates to provide to your local authority in terms of improving cybersecurity capabilities?

      SANDRINI: Harpocrates will improve the regional capability to react to cyber attacks.


      How can the Harpocrates project results be applied to other contexts or scaled up for larger-scale threat intelligence sharing efforts?

      SANDRINI: From our point of view, the results, consisting in one software able to detect potential threats and respect the confidentiality of data, is of great importance for public administrations,dealing with strict GDPR rules. Veneto Region will share HARPOCRATES results at National level with the National Agency for Cybersecurity and with other Italian and EU regional authorities.

       What do you think are the key factors for successful collaboration and information sharing among entities fighting cybercrime?

      SANDRINI: easy detecting procedures and full respect of the confidentiality are key-factors for a successful fight against cybercrime, jointly with training and awareness actions addressed to employees.


      Closing Words

      SANDRINI: We really appreciate the involvement of our institution in the frame of HARPOCRATES. The topic addressed by the project is very important for us, especially considering the political and historical situation and the need to protect our data and our action against any threats. HARPOCRATES is a good opportunity to raise the attitude by our public employees to enhance knowledge and change behaviors that can potentially be dangerous with reference to the web and the online activities. Additionally, HARPOCRATES’ solution to enhance fight against cyber threats from one side and the respect of the privacy of people involved in the constant monitoring of the activities to identify anomalies, is an unique opportunity to increase competence and knowledge of employees concerning digitalisation.