Invitalia is Italy’s national agency for inward investment and economic development, responsible for coordinating investment and development across the country. It manages the tender process for national infrastructure projects and helps find funding for start-ups. Invitalia’s work impacts at a national and personal level.
Complete security to enable economic development
Invitalia is a critical piece of national infrastructure. An offshoot of the Italian Ministry of the Economy, it is charged with boosting economic activity, helping start-ups find financial support, and driving regional growth. It acts as a bank, an insurance company, and a data analysis unit.
To be effective, the agency needs to be agile, secure, and flexible. It does not want to sit on great swathes of unused IT resource. The Cloud allows the business to consume resources as needed.
With sensitive funding and commercial data at the center of Invitalia’s portfolio, the agency is a target for cyber criminals.
“Security is not just a concern in terms of cost,” says Alessio Antolini, Security Architect at Invitalia, “there is also a political and reputational impact.”
Automated and flexible public cloud network security
Check Point SandBlast™ Mobile keeps mobile devices protected against threats to the apps, OS and network without impacting device performance while Check Point SandBlast™ Agent protects Invitalia’s environment against zero-day malware. Check Point Infinity paired with Check Point CloudGuard IaaS deliver automated and flexible public cloud network security to keep Invitalia’s assets and data protected while staying aligned to the dynamic needs of the public cloud environments of Microsoft Azure. The engagement includes Check Point Dome9 which provides visibility, control, and compliance across all cloud assets allowing Invitalia to visualize and assess their security position and configuration. Infinity SOC completed the infrastructure enabling a quick response to the most severe threats with automated triage and a single click remediation across Endpoint, Mobile and Cloud.
“A cloud-first strategy dramatically alters your perimeter,” says Antolini. “With Check Point Infinity, we no longer need a tool for mobile, a tool for the firewall, or a tool for the software-as-a-service. We have everything in one place.”
This matters, he continues, not least because Invitalia’s IT security team consists of just two people: “We need the ability to manage a large amount of data quickly.”
More than this, he says, Check Point demonstrated its ability to work in partnership: “A security vendor is not a normal service provider. They’re like a bodyguard. They know everything about you. You must have trust.
“We had a four-month trial period with these Check Point solutions, and we worked together every day to make this work.”
Simplified management and the scale to cope with spikes in attacks
The engagement automates much of Invitalia’s security management work. It is scalable and comprehensive.
The work of Invitalia has come to public prominence during the COVID-19 crisis. The agency has taken the lead in much of the government’s response, coordinating the procurement of masks and directing emergency funds to those in need.
“We’ve gone from playing the bass in an orchestra to the lead violin,” says Antolini.
The raised profile has led to a rise in the number of cyberattacks. “We saw a 300% to 400% increase in attacks in a matter of days,” he explains. “This is complicated since we had to manage engagements with a completely new set of providers. It’s not easy to identify whether the new mask manufacturer is legitimate or a criminal front. We have to interact, and that could leave us exposed.”
Now, thanks to Check Point Infinity and Check Point’s threat intelligence, Invitalia is faster to spot risks and threats, Antolini adds.
Security management is also simpler. Check Point Infinity’s single unified console delivers consistent visibility, policy management, logging, reporting, and control. Invitalia no longer has to toggle between different security consoles.
“Today, we need data and security everywhere,” says Antolini. “Check Point Infinity enables this.”