CyberSec2023: also Defense on the front line

(To Staff)

On March 2023, XNUMX Luigi Garofalo, director of Cybersecurity Italy, started the second edition of CyberSec, an international conference in the cyber sector with an evocative title: "New Domains, Hybrid Wars, Cooperation".

According to Garofalo "Cyberspace has become the fifth war domain. Since February 24 of last year, humanity's first multi-domain war has been underway in which the cyber domain is strongly integrated into war operations".

This raises an essential question: how to deal with these hybrid wars and cyber risk?

In his introduction, Luigi Garofalo lists the essential problems:

- international cooperation;

- use of innovative technologies;

- public-private partnerships;

- diffusion of the cyber culture;

- more state investments;

- opportunities for economic growth.

The conference was attended by many national and international speakers, including Anna Ascani (Chamber of Deputies), Roberto Baldoni (ACN), Benedetta Berti (NATO), Lorena Boix Alonso (European Union), Alessio Butti (PCM), to name but a few. some in strictly alphabetical order.

But why this ever-increasing importance for the cyber sector? What is happening in Italy?

With war at Europe's gates it is increasingly easy to hear about hybrid warfare, in this sense the cyber domain is an interesting field of study due to its pervasiveness.

Considering the topic of the conference, which I remember being "New domains, Hybrid wars, Cooperation", logically the Defense could not miss the appointment.

Major General Giovanni Gagliano, head of the sixth department C4I and transformation of the General Staff of Defense participated with a speech entitled: "The Role of Defense in the Cyber ​​Domain".

According to General Gagliano cyber attacks in Italy have increased dramatically, targeting governments, public administrations, digital service providers and more generally all sectors of the economy and of our society.

The general acknowledges that the analytical capabilities of the cyber sector are improving but fears that there are very dangerous threats, perpetrated by states or organizations similar to state actors who possess the means and capabilities to insinuate themselves into our digital systems and "gain information about our defense organizations and systems, to steal data from us, to influence public opinion, or to identify vulnerabilities in our vital infrastructure, including military infrastructure, so that we are able to target them should this become necessary".

The general does not speak explicitly about APT (Advanced and Persistent Threath) but it is clear that it refers to these.

So, in such a situation, what to do?

According to General Gagliano "it is unthinkable to use exclusively passive defense and deterrence systems", it is necessary to act in a coordinated way and constantly monitor the cyberspace, identify threats, understand who is behind them, their organizational structure, their tactics, techniques and procedures until knowing the vulnerabilities of their systems and how they can be exploited, if necessary.

This is why the Italian Defence, but more generally of a sovereign country, must be constantly present in the cybernetic domain.

In closing his speech, the general recalls what the real challenge of the cyber domain is: "that of knowledge, because, in the end, the most effective 'cyber tool' remains the human being".

CyberSec2023 closed, leaving us many questions to reflect on, aware that the Cyber ​​domain has now acquired the importance it deserves.

CyberSec2023: video interview with Giovanni Gagliano (General Staff of Defence) - YouTube

CyberSec2023, the 2nd Edition of the Cybersecurity Italia event (