The Status of Cybersecurity in Italy and the Influence of Cyberspace on the International System's Stability, Peace and Security
Guest: Dr. Luigi Martino | Head of The Center for Cyber Security and International Relations Studies at the Department of Political Science Cesare Alfieri of the University of Florence
Host: Marco Ciappelli
During my last stay in my hometown, Florence, Italy, I took the opportunity to reconnect with my Alma Mater: the Department of Political Science of the University of Florence.
There, I met with Luigi to learn about The Center for Cyber Security and International Relations Studies that he runs, as well as getting a crash course about the status of cybersecurity in Italy.
Spoiler alert: I was very pleasantly surprised.
Established in 2015, the CCSIRS aims at promoting and deepening the knowledge on cyberspace dynamics through a policy-oriented approach. More specifically, activities are focused on analyzing the influence that cyberspace exercises over both Italian national security and the international system's stability, peace and security.
We had an interesting conversation in English, not Italian — even if we can all agree that it would have made the topic of cybersecurity sound much more romantic than it is.
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These are some of the things we spoke about:
Is it still possible to keep addressing cybersecurity only from a technological approach? We both agreed that the answer is clearly NO.
It is not only inconvenient and inefficient, but also dangerous.
It is time to shift the conversation by focusing on opportunities — and not just on threats and challenges — as this is the only path towards a more inclusive and efficient way to involve multiple players in the game.
Cybersecurity is a complex phenomenon and, as such, it requires a multidisciplinary approach to be able to address the multitude of issues that make cybersecurity one of the biggest and most important challenges of our modern society.
Political scientists need to analyze the cyberspace because, contrary to popular belief, it is not just related to the technological side of our lives. We must address and understand the power dynamics of all the actors interacting in this space to be both reactive and proactive in a continually changing scenario that directly affects our daily, individual lives and our society as a whole.
Without physical boundaries and defined dimensions, how can we develop a global system of rules that can create an effective security cooperation system in cyberspace?
More specifically, how can we translate existing international laws and apply them to cyberspace?
But wait; is this even the correct approach? Isn’t it stupid and dangerous to apply old rules to new games?
This was a great conversation, and Luigi welcomed me back into the faculty where I had studied, and I was offered the opportunity to become part of the Center Research Team. I am pretty sure I am not worthy of it, but I gladly accepted, and I will be sure to bring my best game to honor his trust and friendship.
During my stay in Italy, I also had the pleasure to attend ITASEC19, where Italian researchers and professionals working in the field of cybersecurity, from both private and public sectors, academia, research institutions and government, gathered in the city of Pisa.
Luigi and I agreed to have another conversation about this experience and to present the strategic partnership between ITSPmagazine and the Center for Cyber Security and International Relations Studies.
Stay tuned for more, but start here.
Shall we listen?