Cybersecurity Seminars

Prof. Luigi V. Mancini

FAQ Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

Next deadline to submit the report: the 3rd of September 2022, 11:59 PM AoE. Students must upload their report on the platform

Course Description

This is not a traditional course but a subsidiary formative activity (called AAF - 6 CFU). In Italy, within the master's degree course, students are expected to attend one AAF, in addition to traditional courses. This AAF elaborates on what was previously learned in the master's degree course in Cybersecurity through guest lectures. In particular, it comments on the threats, vulnerabilities, and cyber risks that emerge from the latest attacks reported and illustrates success stories to protect data and prevent network or computer systems violations. Some of the seminars will explicitly cover the content of professional ethics.

The objective of the course is for students to understand the topics discussed in the seminars by applying them to a real-world case. They will be asked to use their knowledge to imagine a company selling an innovative product or service related to the topics discussed in class.


The exam consists of attending the seminars and preparing a written report (in groups of 2 to 3 students maximum) related to one of the topics presented in the seminars. More precisely:

1. Each group of students is asked to submit a written report describing the Business Model of an imaginary company selling an innovative product or service linked to one of the topics presented. The end deliverable will have the following Structure:

⦁ Cover Page:

  • Title of the report,
  • Seminar from which the idea is derived,
  • Authors’ names, email addresses, and student ID. 

⦁ Customer segments and early adopters (1,000 characters no space):

  • Who are you selling to? Be precise and list their characteristics.
  • Amongst your customers, who are your early adopters? (Who will buy your products first and be an advocate of your brand?). This is a sub-category of your customers. Be precise and list their characteristics.

⦁ Problem statement (2,000 characters no space for groups of two students, 3,000 for groups of three):

  • What problem are you trying to solve for your customers? Analyse the problem in-depth and explain why it needs to be solved (Would it save money? Time? Would it make your customers more efficient? Etc.)
  • What are the needs behind that problem?
  • List the top 3 frustrations of your consumers regarding that problem. 

⦁ Existing alternatives (3,000 characters no space for groups of two students, 4,000 for groups of three):

  • How do customers currently solve this problem? List categories of businesses that currently solve your customers' problems (Are they consulting firms? Are they market research institutions? Etc.). 
  • Within each category, list companies by name and analyse how they currently solve the problem your customers are facing. Show your understanding of the topic (from a business perspective) and the market that has been chosen. 

Note that students are not expected to perform a full market analysis but rather to list the alternatives customers have when wanting to solve the problem listed in part 2 of the report. If students are interested in seeing what a complete market analysis looks like, they can refer to this market analysis from the European Commission on Cyber-security from 2019 (sections 7 and 8 in particular).

⦁ Solution (2,000 characters no space for groups of two students, 3,000 for groups of three):

  • How will you concretely solve the problem?
  • Describe your solution, product, or service. Please do not spend too much time explaining how it technically works, but rather on how customers will use it to solve the problem.
  • If your company needs to form partnerships, mention your partners and their role here.

⦁ Unfair advantage (1,000 characters no space):

  • What sets you apart from the competitors listed in the 'existing alternative' part? Why is your product or service different? Why would people buy it rather than buy the one from your competitors?
  • Try to include both functional and emotional benefits. 

⦁ Unique Value proposition (1,000 characters no space):

  • Create a clear and compelling one-sentence message aimed at your customers.
  • Explain why it encompasses most of your product or service characteristics. 

⦁ High-Level concept (1,000 characters no space):

  • Create a clear and compelling slogan that will help anyone understand what your company does.
  • Explain why you chose this High-Level Concept.

⦁ Key Metrics (1,000 characters no space):

  • How do you measure the success of your company?
  • Make a list of 4 to 5 metrics that will help you know if you have solved the problem. 

⦁ Cost Structure (1,000 characters no space):

  • What resources will you need to deliver the product or service?
  • List your expenses and, if possible, give an estimate of the cost of each resource yearly.

⦁ Revenue Streams (1,000 characters no space):

  • How will your company make money?
  • List your revenue streams and, if possible, give an estimate of each revenue stream yearly.

⦁ Conclusion (1,000 characters no space):

  • Imagine becoming an entrepreneur and starting this company today. Do you think that your company would be successful or unsuccessful? Why?
  • Please note that you will not be graded on the feasibility of your idea but the application of the courses' concept to the problem chosen. If you think that the company you have imagined would not be successful, be honest, as you will not be penalised for that.

⦁ Sources, eventual additional references, and appendices. Please note that sources must be included for both technical and business-related claims. 

⦁ Each student will need to attach the following self-declaration to the report: self-declaration.

2. Students are expected to:

⦁ understand in detail the topic of their choice and its market;

⦁ explain the innovation of the proposed product or service with respect to state of the art;

⦁ apply the course's concepts to their idea.

3. The final report will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

⦁ the originality of the idea:  20%; 

⦁ the understanding of the course concepts: 40%; 

⦁ the application of the course concepts to the idea: 40%. 

Please note that

1. Attendance of students at seminars is mandatory for students enrolled in the second year of the master's degree in Cybersecurity;

2. Plagiarism at the exam will not be accepted and is considered an offense and a breach of academic integrity. If part of a paper is copied in any of the forms described in the link below, the student will have to attend the course and submit a new essay the following year. Students must give credit to the creators of ideas, inventions, work, texts, etc., that are present in their report. In particular, we recommend reading the following document:  See also Section 1.5 in
Students can use the following tools to self-check for plagiarism:

3. Students are expected to write the report in a structured and understandable way. When in doubt regarding how to structure the written report, please refer to the following guidelines from Trident University:

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