Italy has set up a national cybersecurity agency following warnings by Prime Minister Mario Draghi that Europe needed to safeguard itself from Russian interference.
It will need to protect national interests and the resilience of services and essential functions of the State from cyber threats, the government said in a statement.
Speaking in Brussels on May 25, during a European Union summit, Draghi said urgent action was needed against digital threats. “We need to strengthen ourselves, we need to strengthen ourselves a lot, especially in terms of cybersecurity, all of us, at the national level and at EU level because the level of Russian interference both with spies and with manipulation of the web has become truly alarming,” he said.
An Italian navy captain was caught red-handed by police earlier this year, while selling confidential military documents, leaked from his computer to a Russian embassy official.
The Italian government has tasked the new agency with developing strategies to prevent, monitor, detect, and mitigate cyber-attacks, and stepping up national defences. The agency, which will employ around 300 people, will be controlled by Draghi and his security service advisor, ex-police chief Franco Gabrielli.