Cybersecurity Seminars

Prof. Fabio de Gaspari

FAQ Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

Next deadline to submit the report: 19 July 2024, 11:59 PM AoE.


Final Report's Submission

Students must upload their final report on the antiplagiarism platform Turnitin. Make sure to choose the "Single File Upload" option and not the "Cut & Paste Upload" on the submission page. If students are working as part of a group, it is sufficient for one group member to submit the report for it to be considered for review.

Course Description

This is not a traditional course but a subsidiary formative activity (AAF - 6 CFU). In Italy, within the master's degree course, students are expected to attend one AAF in addition to traditional classes. This AAF elaborates on what was previously learned in the master's degree 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 course aims to enable students to apply the topics covered in the seminars to real-world scenarios. They will be tasked with utilising their knowledge to envision a company that sells an innovative product or service aligned with the class discussions.

Course attendance

As per the post-covid official Sapienza rules, courses are now held strictly in person. Remote access will be made available only in specific cases when allowed by the speaker and only for working students or those studying abroad. If you need to access seminars online due to specific circumstances, please contact us in advance. 


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 in class. 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 students' identification numbers (matricola). 

⦁ Introduction (free format and content)

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

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

⦁ Problem statement (2,000 characters with 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. Do not focus on the technology in this part, but on the problem you are solving. (i.e. Would your solution save money for customers? Time? Would it make your customers more efficient? etc.)
  • What are the customers' needs behind that problem?
  • List the top 3 frustrations of your consumers regarding that problem (Put yourself in your customers' shoes and explain why the problem you are describing is frustrating for them). 

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

  • How do customers currently solve the problem you have chosen? Explain what they concretely do to solve the problem.
  • List your competitors, that is, the companies that solve this problem for your chosen target segment. 
  • Do not choose companies based only on the technology they use or the product they sell. They must satisfy the same customer needs as your company. Do not forget to consider indirect competitors who might use different means to meet the same need. 
    For example, in the USA, Domino’s Pizza is a direct competitor to Pizza Hut, while McDonald’s serves as an indirect competitor, offering different products but satisfying the same needs.

Students are not expected to perform a complete market analysis. They should only list the alternatives customers have when wanting to solve the problem listed in part 2 of the report. In case students are interested in seeing what a complete market analysis looks like, they can refer to this market analysis from the European Commission on Cybersecurity from 2019 (sections 7 and 8 in particular).

⦁ Solution (2,000 characters with 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. Do not spend too much time explaining how it technically works. Explain 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 to help you know that you have successfully 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 a rough estimate of the yearly cost of each resource. 

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

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

⦁ Conclusion (1,000 characters, no space):

Imagine becoming an entrepreneur and starting this company today.

  • Do you think that your company would be successful? Why? If you believe the company you imagined would be unsuccessful, be honest. You will not be penalised.
  • Would you invest real money into this company? 
  • Would you personally use the product or service you have created? 

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

⦁ Each student must 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 in the exam will not be accepted and is considered an offence 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 must attend the course and submit a new essay the following year. Students must give credit to the creators of ideas, inventions, work, texts, etc., 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.

For upcoming seminars, see