Italy’s cabinet has approved a plan to create a national cybersecurity agency operating under Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s authority, in a move to elevate the country’s ability to defend its expanding network infrastructure from hackers.
Similar to how MSSPs and cybersecurity firms work with the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, the new Italy cybersecurity agency could set the stage for service providers to work more easily with Italy's government on cyber issues.
Italy's Concerns About Alleged Russia Hacking Activities
Draghi had previously warned that Europe needed to strengthen its cybersecurity profile to ward off Russian hacking. It is the latest move among the 28-member European Union countries to establish cybersecurity dedicated bureaus to counter the growing legion of state-sponsored cyber crews.
Draghi may have hinted at the agency’s formation in late May 2021 in remarks following a European Union summit when he warned of Russian cyber meddling. "We need to strengthen ourselves, we need to strengthen ourselves a lot, especially in terms of cybersecurity, all of us, at national level and at EU level... because the level of interference both with spies and with manipulation of the web has become truly alarming," he said.
Italy’s cabinet approved the plan in early June 2021, affirming earlier reports of a draft decree that detailed a six-department agency staffed by 300 people, expanding roughly to 800 by 2027, overseen by a committee based in Draghi’s office. It carries a mandate to "protect national interests and the resilience of services and essential functions of the State from cyber threats," a government statement said.
How Italy's Cybersecurity Agency Will Work
Cybersecurity strategies and consolidated cybersecurity programs currently controlled by a number of ministers and state entities will operate under one umbrella, Reuters reported.
According to the draft decree, a general director and deputy will be appointed for four years and can be reappointed once, according to a Reuters account. Italy’s cybersecurity agency is linked to a 2,500 page Recovery Plan the nation presented to the European Commission two months ago that advocates for cloud technology to secure public administration data storage. Under the plan, some $1.1 billion would be allocated for the project, reports said.