Italy and Cyber Defense


The Italian Ministry of Defence has recently highlighted their commitment to enhanced cyber defense capabilities.

In a story published on the Italian Ministry of Defence website on April 30, 2018, the recent NATO Locked Shield Exercise was the focus of attention.

Exercise Locked Shields 2018, the largest and most complex Cyber Defence international exercise at the global level, was recently completed in Tallin, Estonia.

Experts from all over the world have taken part in the activity, organized by CCDCOE – NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Locked Shields included over 2,500 simulated cyber attacks aimed at disrupting the computer networks of a military base. Over 1,000 national computer security experts from 30 countries took part in the training that included attacks against Unmanned Air Vehicles, electrical power systems, command and control systems, and other operational infrastructures of fundamental importance for a military base

A computer expert team from the Italian Armed Forces has taken part in the exercise. The latter was a great opportunity to cooperate with their colleagues from all the participating countries, research institutes, universities and industry, i.e. all the experts who would be called to counter a real cyber threat.

In the last few years we have been living in an increasingly digitalized and inter-connected world thanks to the advanced technologies which, however, have also generated a number of cyber threats which take advantage of the bugs embedded in the software which, by now, regulate a host of human activities.

The Defence sector has always used advanced technologies, and today approximately 60%  of military activities in modern countries include cyber components. Therefore, all Armed Forces have had to provide themselves with the necessary instruments to counter the new cyber threats.

Italy has thus established a Comando Interforze per le Operazioni Cibernetiche (CIOC) (Joint Headquarters Cyber Operations), in line with the objectives defined at both the NATO and EU level, which include equipping the Armed Forces with solid cyber defence and infrastructure protection capabilities. CIOC is already operational and will reach full operational capability in 2019.