The development of the cyber capacity of the Army

(To Alexandra Javarone)

The Army Study Center, Center of Thought of reference of the military terrestrial component1, launches the first civil and military studies project in the field of cyber defense: "The development of the cyber capability of the army". The aim of the project is to implement the existing capabilities in the field of cyber defense and cyber security of the Italian Army.

The interdisciplinary pool, made up of military and civil professionals in the sector, at the end of a calendar year, will produce a blue paper which will be delivered during a formal event in the presence of senior military, political and legislative leaders.

The objective of the ambitious project is to promote cyber knowledge, organizing meetings and seminars aimed at the various actors involved, also to promote the cyber education of future generations.

The team consists of telecommunications engineers, cyber experts, technicians, military personnel, academics and industry experts from Oracle, Leonardo, CISCO and Engineering. Researchers and analysts have been at work for some months now in order to identify future scenarios of international crisis or any disruptive events that could lead to future cyber-wars.

The offensive and defensive abilities of the possible competitors are destined to increase with the same speed with which we develop new technologies. Hence the need to envisage a system of strong collaboration between the military and civilian world.
The aim of the Army Study Center, in promoting the Cyber ​​project, is to promote knowledge and awareness in the sector, identifying the cyber capabilities (defensive and offensive) necessary for the army of the future (internal and / or external), shortly and medium term, indicating the main elements to be considered for long-term development.

The object of the study is also to understand how to proceed in the development of the necessary skills, in collaboration with all the national actors (national, international institutions, universities and industry), identifying capacities related to breaking technologies to be strengthened since they are fundamental for the cyber domain. In fact, it is indispensable to set up a reference model and an effective action plan to operate in the military and civil sphere, in order to shorten, as much as possible, response times and sound defensive and offensive capabilities, necessary for the army of the future. Cyberspace has no boundaries, and so neither are the threats that populate it, so it is necessary to prepare: "si vis pacem, para bellum".

In Warsaw, in the 2016, NATO recognizes cyber space as the V operative domain. The hybrid war is in everything and for everything a complex war that presupposes the combined use of hidden tactics, cyber crime, cyber espionage, cyber terrorism and cyber warfare.
Cyber ​​aggression represents a low-cost attack, with excellent results in terms of cost-benefit opportunities (for the attacker, of course), making it even difficult to establish the attacker with certainty. Critical infrastructures, banks, schools, hospitals, networks are today real strategic objectives of national interest.

Future technological developments are of course difficult to predict, but it is from the limits that we intend to take the first steps in order to propose the most suitable solution for the use and consumption of the legislator and the administration, so that it can measure itself against current and future criticalities.

And if it does not yet seem clear to us how the next technologies will go on insisting on our life and our security, the team manager, Alessandro Rugolo, invites us to imagine one of the future operational scenarios examined: Try to think for a moment that your every action, starting from when you check online mail, shake your social networks or insert your cv on a platform, be carefully profiled (this is the correct term) by a powerful algorithm, capable of making you the object of targeted promotion campaigns, worse, influence your thinking, perhaps during the electoral campaign, sending you news, posts and partial testimonies. Try to imagine that great international and emerging powers have, for some time, invested funds and energy with the sole intention of securing cyber dominance. Consider the applications of 5G, the high use of the electromagnetic spectrum, the growth of the IoT, the different applications of artificial intelligence. Think of quantum computers, synthetic DNA and, again, the consequences of high connectivity, the interdependence of weapons systems and computer networks, the difficulty of clearly identifying your opponent and the consequent difficulty of predicting the moves?

Does it scare you? And what would you say if I told you that the future has already arrived?