The present and future challenges facing Leonardo’s Global Security Operation Centre

23 February 2023

Leonardo’s Global Security Operation Centre in Chieti, protecting institutions, private enterprises and strategic infrastructure in 130 countries all over the world against cyber threats, is the subject of an in-depth article written by Marco Consoli for Focus magazine.

The year 2022 saw an +8.4% increase in serious cyber-attacks worldwide over the year 2021 – a figure which is, unfortunately, destined to grow. The trend is reported by Marco Consoli in his article for Focus magazine about understanding security in cyberspace. Hence his description of Leonardo’s SOC – Global Security Operation Centre in Chieti, which has been running day and night since 2014 to provide security surveillance for fully 7,000 networks run by public and private organisations. It is here, before a vast videowall, that experts manage the various stages involved in the security process: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond & Recover. “We analyse 115,000 security incidents per second,” explains the SOC Manager Aldo Sebastiani, “using SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), an automatic incident correlator that identifies anomalies”.

According to Dr. Luigi Martino, professor of cybersecurity at Florence University, cyberspace is more than just the internet: it also includes physical structures (antennas, undersea cables, satellites, routers, etc.) and the electromagnetic spectrum, because Wi-Fi and 5G can also be used to transmit information. This is why the damage and consequences of a cyber-attack may go beyond the merely economic, continues Sebastiani, because “…progressive digitisation of physical systems makes them more efficient, but it also exposes them to cyber threats. […] Cyberspace today is no longer just a space for democratic information, now that data is in the hands of private enterprise; it is an environment connected with political and military dynamics.”

Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cyberspace and space beyond the earth’s atmosphere are the keys to an increasingly complex scenario in which global security is at stake. This is the challenge Leonardo faces with its Cyber & Security Academies opened in 2022 in Genoa, Chieti and Rome: true centres of advanced education, established to boost the skills and competences required to respond to the new cyber threats and promote ongoing training of security officers. At the heart of the centres are the Cyber Range and Cyber Trainer platforms, where operators are trained and threat scenarios and crises are simulated. Because technology alone is not enough to protect against malicious attacks: it is often the human factor that causes mistakes. A single click in the wrong place can be enough to open up the path and let in malware.

The Academies lay the foundations towards a safe digital transition, helping promote awareness of security with increasingly advanced skills and competences.

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