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A new Frontier on Cyber Security

«  A new Frontier on Cyber Security » by Irene Bonetti, Director of Attilio Carmagnani "AC" SpA

First published in Italian in the February 2020 issue of Unione Petrolifera

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Attilio Carmagnani "AC" SpA has 50 employees and a turnover of 25 million euros in 2019. Specifically, the company focus on 3 activities: a coastal storage for the handling and storage of chemicals, the commercial activity of the products and an independent accredited laboratory for analysis. Since 1904 we have been one of the leading companies at national and international level in the import and distribution of chemicals, an important link between the Italian market and the chemical industry world. 


I joined the company in 2010 with the aim of relaunching the business and I took on the role of Director of the storage terminal in 2014. Immediately I started the transition from exclusively manual systems to automation systems with remote controls, I enhanced the sensors and installed new automatic measurement systems with control monitors. Staff training in new procedures, teamwork for the prevention of accidents, emergency management, growth of skills required by the application of safety rules, environmental protection and health protection are part of my daily life. Thanks to this effort today we are an example of a company operating in traditional markets that uses research and innovation to project itself towards the future.


The challenges I face every day relate to the management of a company at risk of a major accident in an urban context: a higher threshold Seveso plant for the type of products we move (chemical, flammable, dangerous to the environment). To manage the aging of the plants I put in place control and monitoring activities and I am constantly looking for solutions that allow me to find methods for predictive maintenance that help us to operate efficiently and safely.


Participation in InfraStress is a further confirmation of the propensity by Attilio Carmagnani "AC" S.p.A. to find solutions to improve, renew and innovate through the identification of good practices and in collaboration with other national and international realities, for the benefit of all sector too.

Currently, the company together with one of the project partner, the National Interuniversity Consortium for IT with headquarters at the University of Naples Parthenope, is developing a physical model for a simulator in order to test, through virtual reality, a hypothetical cybernetic attack during discharge of a product from a ship into a shore tank, without repercussions on operations.

Before the end of the project will be nineteen the different technologies and methodologies which will be tested at the Genoa’s coast terminal to analyze the various moments of the hypothetical cybernetic accident.

Looking to this participation, Attilio Carmagnani"AC" receives a contribution of 150 thousand euros and the coverage of 50% of the costs for 30 work-man months in two years. 



The research centers have indeed the task to study and propose solutions with systems and technological innovation related to incidental scenarios indicated by five pilot companies, tasting for cyber security and physics.

These are threats and dangers always not contemplated from normal activity, think for example to drones as instruments of boycotts or earthquakes to evaluate potential cascade effects on the infrastructure, on the environment and / or on the territory.

The answers that the research centers elaborate come from methodologies risk management, mathematical models for the evaluation of interdependencies and cascade effects, detection technologies (cyber and physical threats), crowdsensing and crowdsourcing, big data analysis, intelligence about threats, augmented reality, simulation.

The solutions will also have to hold necessary investment account, integration with the systems in use, training needed for the application practice of technologies proposals, possibility to standardize and make it usable in a large-scale application and in other areas, any aspects ethical or legal, but to not forget the privacy.

The final goal of InfraStress is development and diffusion of guidelines, implementation of training programs and the introduction of effective technologies which must become standard of excellence for safety in different sectors, such as water, energy, information technology, transport and communications.


InfraStress is not the first experience in research projects. Already in 2016, we were involved by STAM srl, an engineering company based in Genoa specialized in high tech sectors, in one project called KARMA, co-financed by the Liguria Region with the Structural Funds POR FESR 2014-2020.

Thanks to collaboration with the University of Genoa and with STAM, has been developed a virtual platform that allows to view hour by hour the security measures active and passive, according to ongoing activities, on the various terminal areas. It also allows you to simulate the impact preventively, in terms of organization of work and safety, the overlapping of the different activities: loading of tank trucks, loading of rail tank, ship’s loading and discharging operations. To these activities have been added maintenance and shore tanks cleaning during the day and the possibility to evaluate any shift of activities or to increase in security measures.

The project proved that is an important opportunity to perform virtual simulations of events incidental, involving staff with information and training activities otherwise not feasible. It was indeed possible to view the trend of a liquid in case of an oil pipeline break inside a tunnel.

Attilio Carmagnani "AC" works constantly to prevent and reduce risk for employees and all persons who can be exposed to dangers associates to corporate activities, for the protection of the environment and citizenship. Therefore it was started an internal management system aimed to prevent major accidents, based on principles which support and strengthen technical tools that the company uses in operational management.

Based on an in-depth analysis risk analysis and software simulations, a Safety Report - approved by the competent Authority - identified potentials damage areas, all within terminal perimeter. In terms of security innovation and constant updating are an important pillar at the basis of commitment and daily life activity of the company and all the employees.

The introduction of InfraStress solutions will allow to prevent and mitigate cyber threats and the physical dangers and it will go to improve existing tools risk assessment and other security measures. The inclusion and the use of these new models and tools will help the company to improve resilience highlighting how much the project is strongly in line with the company’s mission.

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