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DEAS said, “They provide insights into the future of maritime warfare and the protection of the civil and commercial maritime sectors, underscoring the evolving nature of military strategy and its broader implications for maritime security.”

The test, developed in real time, co-ordinated with cyber-attacks impacting simulated physical processes, allowed crews to assess how defences can be penetrated and what are the best response strategies in an integrated conflict context. As with much military technology, DEAS noted there is inevitably scope for future use in the civilian sphere, where maritime cyber attacks increasingly take place.

Serious cyber attacks have surged over the past five years, climbing from an average of 139 incidents to 232 per month. From 2019 to 2023, the number of attacks increased by 60%, with an increase of 11% globally and 65% in Italy in 2023, according to the analysis from CLUSIT – an Italian Association for Information Security.

These exercises represent “an effective laboratory to test live some emerging technological solutions and the resulting innovative doctrines in the new context of hybrid conflicts. They offer a glimpse into the future not only of maritime warfare, but also of civil and commercial naval sector protection,” commented DEAS director Stefania Ranzato.

Ficantieri chief executive Pierroberto Folgiero said the Group’s new industrial plan will see it attempt to broaden its integrator competencies from the physical domain to “the logical domain of the ship, which now increasingly represents a ’system of systems’ and a digital asset.”

Increasing automation and digitalisation of new ships require a stronger focus on cyber threats to a ship’s security.

Mr Folgiero said, “Collaboration with the Navy, partnerships with industry leaders and exercises such as today’s will enable the consolidation of a series of products and solutions that, once implemented in naval defence, can be successfully extended to the civilian sector, with a dual perspective typical of Fincantieri’s DNA.” 


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