Education Focus Group

Four Pilots, One Goal: a Strong European Education Ecosystem for Cybersecurity

It’s been almost a year since education experts of the four pilot projects CONCORDIA, CyberSec4Europe, ECHO, and SPARTA came together and set up the CCN Education group.

The CCN Education group is looking into the creation of a European education ecosystem for cybersecurity to support the work of the future network of cyber competence centres and contribute to the EU efforts in closing the cybersecurity skills gap. The CCN Education group aims to take advantage of the strengths of each pilot project, combining and consolidating the available resources and investing them in complimentary activities that converge to a common goal.The collaboration is structured around specific strands, from mapping existing programmes and courses to a common skills framework, from the creation of innovative certification schemes to developing the European education ecosystem. ENISA has been overseeing the cross-pilot cooperation by acting as an independent, competent and trusted partner.

As we progress in our work towards fulfilling this objective, we would like to request your valuable input. In which areas of cybersecurity education do you think we should be investing our efforts for the next two years?

The Education Focus Group discussions on the priorities for a strong European education ecosystem for for cybersecurity are here with the agenda and presenters’ bios below.

  • Fabio di Franco, ENISA
  • Felicia Cutas, EIT Digital
  • Edmundas Piesarskas, Lithuanian Cybercrime Center of Excellence for Training, Research & Education (L3CE)
  • Argyro Chatzopoulou, TÜV TRUST IT
  • Pavel Varbanov, European Software Institute – Center Eastern Europe-ESI CEE
Fabio Di Franco, ENISA

Fabio Di Franco has a PhD in telecommunication engineering and he is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). He joined ENISA in 2017 and currently his role focuses on advising the European Union and the Member States on research needs in cybersecurity with a view to enabling effective responses to the current and emerging threats.  He is also the project manager supporting the Member States in cybersecurity skill development, both by identifying current initiatives and by developing new technical training to support state-of-the-art information network and security capabilities.

Felicia Cutas, CONCORDIA

Felicia Cutas is currently acting as project lead at EIT Digital, in which capacity she is leading the work on developing a European education ecosystem for cybersecurity as part of the CONCORDIA project. At present she is coordinating the creation of new courses addressing cybersecurity professionals, middle-managers, executives, based on a specific methodology previously developed in the project. Felicia holds an MBA in Finance and an Executive Master in Communication and European Affairs. In 2016 Felicia was PM² certified, and in 2017 she became PM² Practitioner and Agile Certified.

Edmundas Piesarskas, SPARTA

Edmundas Piesarskas is an expert on different management aspects of cyber security, including innovation governance and skills management, working in the Lithuanian Cybercrime Center of Excellence for Training, Research & Education (L3CE), a non-profit NGO which invests in technology, conducts research, and manages projects focusing on illegal interference incidents — related to data, systems or operation of computers — affecting a wide range of foreign countries. L3CE has extensive experience in running European and national research projects: SENTER, ECOPOL, Lion DC, PRoTECT, SPARTA, and I-LEAD. These address cybercrime prevention initiatives or are developing innovative technologies and solutions aimed at monitoring and detecting criminal content on the Internet. In the security domain generally, L3CE also addresses information warfare, hybrid threats and full spectrum awareness of cybersecurity itself.

Argyro Chatzopoulou, CONCORDIA

Ms. Argyro Chatzopoulou is a member of TÜV TRUST IT and is currently the leader of the certification and standardisation task of CONCORDIA. She is an experienced consultant, trainer, lead auditor and scheme developer with a demonstrated history of working in the certification and auditing services industry. Over the last 15 years she has undertaken leading roles in the areas of information security, IT governance and innovation. She holds two master’s degrees and a number of professional certifications (e.g. CISA, CSX-P, Cybersecurity Audit, CCSK etc).






Pavel Varbanov, ECHO

Pavel Varbanov has a long and rich experience in the structuring and application of competence models and skill frameworks in the domain of ICT (Internet of Things, data science, cybersecurity, quality assurance). He is project coordinator at ESI CEE (European Software Institute – Center Eastern Europe) and the leader of education and training activities on the ECHO project. Since 2010 he has led most of the educational projects and activities of ESI CEE including licensing the ESI CEE VET Centre, application of the e-Competence Framework in the IT programs of three Bulgarian universities, the integration of the e-Competence Framework in the national system of competences evaluation and many others.