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Microsoft House: Cybersecurity Attack Simulation

Cyber analyst per un giorno!

Microsoft House: Cybersecurity Attack Simulation

Microsoft House: Cybersecurity Attack Simulation

Eight teams of yung female work on a defense strategy

Last Friday, at the Milano Digital Week, 44 girls from four Milanese high schools (Schiaparelli-Gramsci, Giorgi, Fermi, and Falcone-Righi), developed a plan and communication strategy to respond to a simulated cyberattack on a company.

The original Cyber Analyst for a Day! format was conceived as an experiential immersion into cybersecurity: from training to solving a reality task in a cooperative mode. The work teams were formed based on the criterion of maximum possible heterogeneity, with different schools and fields of study. Thus, the girls found themselves working together with other girls they had just met. "A further challenge to test interpersonal relationship and communication skills, as well as the ability to converge towards a shared solution," explains Valentina Gelsomini, who coordinated the different training aspects of the challenge.

In particular, the girls were asked to take on the role of cyber analyst for a day and imagine themselves as part of a company team in charge of security. The simulation was based on a sustainable fashion company which, following hacker attack, its website compromised, and its on-line payment system sabotaged. Customers' personal data, including names, addresses, payment information and purchase history, was stolen. The company is concerned about the impact on its image as a brand known for its sustainability and attention to ethical detail. The students, organized into multidisciplinary teams, resolved the incident, developing a complete plan in several phases:

  • Identify the causes of the attack
  • Analyse risks
  • Propose prevention measures to avoid new attacks
  • Suggest a communication strategy to share the incident with the various stakeholders, taking into account the company's ethical commitment

At the end of the day, the girls developed a summary document (in PPT) and shared their presentation through an elevator pitch (5 minutes).

In the interviews conducted by Francesca Meini, the girls declared themselves particularly satisfied with the experience that had allowed them to understand the various implications of IT security, from the protection of personal data to corporate reputation.

The CyberSHEcurity Challenge event was developed as part of the Project Ambizione Italia for Cybersecurity, born in collaboration with Microsoft, and in synergy with the national Coding Girls Programme.

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