Lorenzo Mariani at the NATO Summit Defense Industry Forum, the Atlantic Alliance’s role and cybersecurity’s technological development

10 July 2024

The NATO Summit Defense Industry Forum was held in Washington, DC, from 8-10 July at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, bringing together industry representatives with government stakeholders. The event, which saw the participation of Leonardo's Co-General Manager Lorenzo Mariani, took place in conjunction with the Summit for the 75th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance.

The Forum was composed by a series of panels focusing on current industry issues, followed by a plenary session, which featured NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and U.S. Deputy Secretary for Defense Kathleen Hicks.

In relation to the global geopolitical scenario, characterized by increasing instability and constant developments in technology, the working groups addressed five key macro-themes, such as Munitions and air defense production capabilities; Preparing the future with multi-domain operations; Strengthening cyber defense; Adopting and adapting artificial intelligence; and Space capabilities and NATO security.

During the panel on Strengthening Cyber Defense, Lorenzo Mariani explained the importance of a targeted Zero Trust approach - a model for IT systems’ design and implementation, based on “never trust and always verify” – with particular reference to the supply chain. He also pointed out the strong emphasis that must be given to transatlantic collaboration, through an increased sharing of requirements and technologies. This is a framework in which the need for a shared process emerges, fostering the rapid integration of disruptive technologies into deployed systems, also with reference to the contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Following the event, Mariani emphasized how the Forum represents “an important opportunity to exchange ideas and proposals for accelerating the operational availability of solutions that enable true cyber resilience of the systems deployed by the Alliance countries, encouraging technological development and industry involvement.” According to Mariani, “Italy has a strong drive for innovation and a recent history of growth in the cyber domain. With its solutions in Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Zero Trust Identification, and Multi-Domain Security, Leonardo will play a fundamental role in this market, also through targeted mergers and acquisitions operations and with the full involvement of SMEs in the sector.”