Cover image

Shielding Italian Public Administrations: Introducing DAMOCLES Project - A New Approach to Cybersecurity

We are thrilled to announce that our research team, in an effort led by Giuseppe Desolda, successfully secured the prestigious PRIN (Progetti di Ricerca di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale) PNRR grant for the year 2022. Giuseppe Desolda serves as the Principal Investigator for the entire project and holds the position of Principal Investigator at the University of Bari.


In a world where the digital landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, safeguarding sensitive information and infrastructure from cyber threats is paramount. Recognizing this imperative, the DAMOCLES (Detection And Mitigation Of Cyber attacks that exploit human vuLnerabilitiES) proposal has been founded among the Italian Relevant National Projects (NRRP) for the year 2022. Spearheaded by a consortium of esteemed researchers, DAMOCLES sets out to revolutionize Italy’s approach to cybersecurity by addressing a critical yet often overlooked vulnerability: human error.

The Minds Behind DAMOCLES

The project’s Principal Investigator is Prof. Giuseppe Desolda, leading a unit from the University of Bari. Prof. Lucio Davide Spano, from the University of Cagliari, serves as the substitute Principal Investigator. Finally, Prof. Vincenzo Deufemia leads the research unit at the University of Salerno.

A New Paradigm in Cyber Defense

DAMOCLES aims to fortify the digital defenses of Italian Public Administrations (PAs) against security incidents stemming from human factors. Traditional cybersecurity measures often focus solely on technological aspects, neglecting the human element. However, DAMOCLES recognizes that employees’ behaviors and actions can inadvertently expose organizations to cyber threats. To combat this, the project introduces a groundbreaking framework grounded on two foundational pillars: Human Vulnerability Assessment (HVA) and Human Vulnerability Mitigation (HVM).

Human Vulnerability Assessment (HVA)

The first pillar of DAMOCLES involves assessing and understanding the vulnerabilities inherent in human behavior within organizational contexts. By leveraging advanced behavioral analysis techniques, the project seeks to identify potential weak points where human error could lead to security breaches. Through comprehensive assessment protocols, DAMOCLES aims to provide insights into the intricate interplay between human factors and cybersecurity risks.

Human Vulnerability Mitigation (HVM)

Armed with insights gleaned from HVA, this phase involves the implementation of tailored strategies and interventions aimed at mitigating the identified vulnerabilities. From targeted training programs to the development of user-friendly security protocols, HVM aims to empower employees to become proactive guardians of cybersecurity within their organizations.

Project Timeline

The ‘DAMOCLES’ project has a duration of two years, starting on 30 November 2023.

Budget Breakdown

The total budget for this project is set at 253k euros, with a significant allocation of 89k euros for the University of Bari.


We are eager to contribute meaningful advancements to the field of Cybersecurity. Stay tuned for updates on our progress and discoveries!