A good level of redundancy of routes and landings is needed to ensure network protection and resilience. Cyber space is increasingly one of the terrains on which the future of competition between states and economic systems is played out22 Dec 2021 Luca Cardone Head of Product Marketing & Sales Operations of Retelit
Cyber space is increasingly one of the terrains on which the future of competition between states and economic systems is played out, and not by chance around submarine cables, which carry over 97% of international communications and where it has been estimated that over 10 are transported. trillions of dollars a day through financial transactions, an important geopolitical game has been playing for some time which unfortunately has so far seen Europe in a more secluded position compared to the great activism of the United States and China. Yet, as a recent study produced by Astrid cites, significant growth is expected in the submarine cable network, stimulated by the infrastructural needs of the large cloud content and service providers, which could represent for the Old Continent, and for Italy in particular. , a great opportunity. The new distribution of global traffic, in fact, having to meet requirements of high bandwidth demand, low latency and resilience has created the need for new routes and new landing points, effectively creating the conditions for a renewed centrality of the Mediterranean and for a new role of regional operators such as Retelit. In this context, the ability of Governments and operators to ensure adequate protection both to submarine cables and to the landing points of cables on land assumes particular importance: the Cable Landing Stations (CLS) or Landing Points, structures located near the coasts that transmit data arrived by sea to the terrestrial network and which are often lacking in efficient security measures. The protection of maritime sections of cables presents significant problems, for example submarine cables can be easily identified and damaged mechanically or by small explosive charges and it is difficult to keep them under constant and direct surveillance. No fleet could protect the entire cable network, given its global extension and the geographic areas involved. Furthermore, the inadequate legal protection offered by the current instruments of international law, especially in the case of attacks carried out outside the territorial waters of a single country, make surveillance impossible. However, it is precisely the landing stations that constitute the most vulnerable points both from a technical and physical access point of view. An example is the case of a British journalist who in 2018 sneaked into a CLS located in Cornwall, part of a system including three intercontinental cables. In addition to cyber attacks, an adequate strategy for protecting submarine cables cannot depend solely on military action or on the evolution of security technologies or regulatory instruments: a good level of redundancy of routes and landings is needed to ensure safety and network resilience. Today Marseille is one of the main landing points at European level, in the event of a disastrous event there would be a risk of a global Internet blackout. In this context, Retelit has invested in the AAE-1 Consortium, creating a new landing point in Bari and more recently in Liguria where it has built a landing platform from Savona and Genoa to Milan dedicated to new cables from the Mediterranean.