The protection of national critical infrastructures is increasingly becoming a key issue in the cybersecurity debate in Italy. The local Postal Police − a special unit in charge of monitoring the Internet to detect and prevent cybercrime and other malicious activities affecting cyber security − has significantly increased its activities to counteract the cyber threats: for example, the alerts sent by the Postal Police to the cybersecurity managers of the essential services firms are raised up by 500% over the previous year.

The aim of this contribution is to present the state-of-the-art and the debate about cybersecurity and protection of critical infrastructure in Italy. After a brief reference to the European regulatory framework, we discuss the Italian legal framework that regulates the monitoring, prevention and contrast activities against the cyber threats to the national critical infrastructures, and the authorities involved, in particular the CNAIPIC (National Anti-Crime Center for the Protection of Critical Infrastructures). In the following statistical section, we report the main statistical data about the cyber attacks hitting Italy in recent years, with reference to those affecting institutional sites and critical infrastructures.